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The Prints of J.N. Darling

The Prints of J.N. Darling publication cover

The Prints of J.N. Darling, 3rd Edition Publication

By Amy Worthen
3rd Edition

Jay N. Darling made at least 84 etchings, photoetchings, aquatints, and drypoints between 1925 and 1960. Publicly known to the world as “Ding,” he was an editorial cartoonist of great wit and fine pictorial ability who won two Pulitzer Prizes. Through his syndicated cartoons, he had a national audience and was one of the first mass media celebrities in an era before network radio and television. A man of keen intelligence and unbelievable energy, he was the leading ecologist and conservationist of his generation, and although a loyal Republican, he served in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration as head of the U.S. Biological Survey. He also designed the first Federal Duck Stamp. His work as an etcher filled an important role in his personal creative life. His substantial body of work in this medium was the product of a deeply involved artist. Etching allowed Darling to truly become an artist – one who worked in a fully “respectable” medium, unlike cartooning. The subject matter of his prints dealt almost exclusively with wildlife, hunters, and fishermen. 

The Prints of J. N. Darling discusses Darling’s development as an artist and etcher, and traces his evolving conception and depiction of wildlife in his cartoons as well as his etchings. It provides information on his studio practices, techniques, and his relationship with his assistants. The fine art prints, including questioned and reattributed works, are fully catalogued. 

As one of the most popular of University Museums’ publications, it is befitting that we not only re-print this publication after 24 years since the last edition, but update, add new content and interpretations, and redesign. The most substantial addition is the inclusion of selected interpretations commissioned from renowned professionals, both scientists and naturalists, in the fields of ecology, animal science, and wildlife management. New contributions are from: Erwin Klaas, Professor Emeritus, Animal Ecology; James Pease, Associate Professor Emeritus, Natural Resource Ecology and Management; Steve Lekwa, former director, Story County Conservation, Iowa; and Tom Davis, award-winning writer, Green Bay, Wisconsin. In addition, never before seen images selected from the Koss’ family archives illustrate Darling’s life, work, and passion for all things wildlife. 

This 208 page soft cover publication includes over 150 images.
Publication date: 6/2014

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