Known for his humorous style and jaunty signature
of "Dwig," Clare Dwiggins was an extremely popular and prolific
postcard illustrator. In his youth, he and his friends formed a
"traveling college" of art, with himself as "Professor of Free-hand
Drawing." At 16, he left school to join an architect's staff, and at
24, he moved to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
as a cartoonist (at two dollars a week!). Within a few years he was in
New York at the World,
producing the nation's first half-page Sunday cartoon feature, "School
Days," which ran from 1910 until 1932.
Dwig's first postcard designs were published by Raphael Tuck and Sons
in 1903, and he went on to illustrate many more for Tuck, Charles Rose,
and several other prominent printers. Many of his best
postcard designs featured comic wordplay and puns, lavish design with
art nouveau swirls, and beautiful girls - modeled after his wife.
Late in life, he continued to draw cartoons, illustrations and designs,
including an acclaimed series of watercolor murals of American rivers.