Date: Tue, Apr. 24, 2012
One hundred years ago this May, the RMS Titanic's last victim died from pneumonia. W.R. Hearst cartoonist
Homer Davenport caught his death after illustrating the survivors' tragic tale. An incredibly lucky,
creative and productive life was cut short. Caricaturist, author, Arabian horse breeder and out-spoken
freethinking spiritualist, he defied all expectations. Save the two that mattered most: from a dead mother
barely remembered from the age of three, and a father's life-long intellectual mentorship. The Davenport
Project was created to stimulate interest in this unique Oregonian, one of the most successful artists this
State has ever produced.
In the decade of the 1890s, just before the dawn of a new century, American society was going through a transition, from the gilded age of robber barons and monopolistic trusts, into the progressive era, a time known for great social reforms. From horses and trains to automobiles and airplanes. Change was everywhere.
Through it all, Oregon cartoonist Homer Davenport was there, wielding his pen to spray a steady stream of caustic caricatures onto the notables and notorious of the global political scene. In 1898, he published his first of four books, consisting of over 80 of these cartoons. He went on to publish a second collection of cartoons, as well as two non-fiction works, the latter of which he documents his own "acquisition expedition" to the Ottoman Empire for the purpose of importing pure bred Arabian horse breeding stock.
Silvertonian and Davenport historian Gus Frederick will present a visual overview of Davenport's life and art. Frederick is the author of the 2006 annotated edition of Davenport's 1898 collection of cartoons, as well as "Silverton" from Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series. He is currently working on a documentary of Davenport.