News and Events

The Life and Art of George M. Harding, Captain in the AEF - Sept. 27th August 09 2017

Wednesday, 9/27/17
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Event Type

Lecture/Panel Discussion
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust St.
19107 Philadelphia , PA

On 27 September, James Thompson, author of Painting America’s Portrait – How Illustrators Created America, will present a program about Philadelphia artist George Matthews Harding. Harding studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art and with Howard Pyle in Chadds Form and Wilmington before launching his career as an illustrator, which he did in 1904. Among his notable achievements were his selection as one of eight artists to record the operations of the American Expeditionary Force in France in 1918 and his election as a Fellow of the National Academy of Design in 1945. For much of the time between these two events, Harding taught classes at PAFA and created his own art in his Wynnewood studio. Mr. Thompson will trace his life as an artist, but pay special attention to his experiences in France during the final months of the Great War. He will support his comments with a colorful slide show, and examples of the artist’s work taken from his own collection and HSP's collection.

Speaker's Bio:

James Thompson grew up in Wilmington, Delaware where, among other things, he took classes at the Delaware Art Center. He studied Philosophy as an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Virginia.

In 2015, Jim shifted his focus from American History to the History of American Illustration. The first book in the Painting America’s Portrait set appeared in the fall of 2016. In “How Illustrators Created Their Art”, Jim traced the evolution of illustration art through its Golden Age and explained how the appearance of illustrations changed as image reproduction technologies improved. In the second PAP book, which was released in the spring of 2017, Jim recounted how America’s artist admen and storytellers helped Uncle Sam sell the war “to end all wars”, and how while doing this they “created America”.

Jim lectures on subjects he writes about. He has spoken at the US Naval Academy, the Virginia Historical Society, the DAR Library in Washington, DC, and the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society Forum in Charlottesville. He has discussed the artistry of artists whose works appear in his Painting America’s Portrait books at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Plastic Club in Philadelphia, the Salmagundi Club and the Society of Illustrators in New York City, the Howard Pyle Studio in Wilmington, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. He has delivered lecture series at the University of Virginia, the College of William & Mary, George Mason University, and the University of Delaware.

Mr. Thompson lives in Richmond, Virginia.


Salmagundi Illustrators of WWI July 19 2017

Parlor, November 17, 2017

Friday, 6:30PM

Sponsored by the SCNY Program Committee.

Admission $15 if purchased in advance online, $20 Admission at the door.
Free to SCNY members.
Click HERE to purchase tickets.

Salmagundi artists on the front line of WWI.

Civilian artists in the European trenches during World War I, many who were Salmagundi Club members were solicited by our government to illustrate the war first hand. This presentation by James Thompson, author of  “Painting America’s Portrait”, will discuss these talented artist illustrators and how they “created America” while helping Uncle Sam raise an army and mobilize a nation to “make the world safe for democracy”.

American involvement in WWI officially began as Congress declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917. Two weeks later, George Creel, Chairman of the Committee of Public Information, CPI, solicited SCNY artist Charles Dana Gibson to be the Director of Pictorial Publicity, a division of CPI. In this role, artist Gibson was expected to create a group of illustrators including Howard Giles and George Wright to “sell the war” to the American people.  This is a chapter of American History converging with a chapter of Salmagundi Club SCNY history.  

During the next year these talented artist illustrators created 1,000 propaganda posters that presented the US with imagery of inspirational images of American “can do” spirit. Many of the artist illustrators who worked under the guidance of Gibson made a significant contribution through their art in the way Americans saw themselves and this great country.  

About the Speaker:
Mr. Thompson has appeared on CSpan History Channel in addition to numerous other history-orientated radio and television programs. He has spoken at the Virginia Historical Society, the U.S Naval Academy, Stratford Hall, and Wilton House in Richmond Virginia. Jim has presented lecture series for continuing education programs at the University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary, George Mason University and the University of Delaware. 

View more at

Commonwealth Books Upcoming Events July 19 2017

27 September 2017: Wednesday – Time TBA

The Pennsylvania Historical Society

Program Topic: The War Art of George Matthews Harding

1300 Locust Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 732-6200


28 September 2017: Thursday – 7:00

Bergen County Historical Society

Program Topic: The Art of Harvey Dunn (with comments on Harry Townsend and Clara Peck)

Historic New Bridge Landing in the Steuben House

1209 Main St.

River Edge, NJ 07661


John Heffernan <>


8 October 2017: Sunday – Time TBA

The Garden City Historical Society Museum / Nassau County Museum of Art

Program Topic: Raising an Army and Training the Troops

Suzie Alvey – Program Coordinator


November 2017: Exhibition –

Delaware College of Art and Design

600 Market Street

Wilmington, DE 19801


Alexi Natchev


3 November – Gala Reception at the DCAD

Delaware College of Art and Design

600 Market Street

Wilmington, DE 19801


Alexi Natchev


16 November – Keynote Address to the DCAD Student Body and Faculty

Delaware College of Art and Design

600 Market Street

Wilmington, DE 19801


Alexi Natchev


17 November 2017: Tuesday 6:00PM

Salmagundi Club

Program Topic: Great War Era Art by Salmagundi Club Members

47 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10003

John Leicmon - Programs

Bonnie Seiler - Programs

Chris Nunnally - Club Manager