JONES, Alfred (1819-1900). "Mexican News" or "News From the Front". Steel engraving, 17½ x 16½ inches, from a painting by R.C. Woodville. Published by the Art Union in 1851.
Crisp & fresh, a superb impression, trimmed of its margins down to the plate mark. $950.00
One of the most well-known 19th C. American images, made popular in countless school books. (I recently saw it in a current law school text!) It depicts a group of eight men, a woman and a child gathered around a man reading an 'Extra' edition of a newspaper on a front porch. The scene depicts an announcement about the Mexican American War of 1848 and is rife with additional social commentary. The child and one man are black and occupy a position, on the steps, much lower than the others. The woman is listening from a position outside the railing and is less well delineated. The whole group is assembled in front of a saloon.
Fielding wrote that as a line engraver Jones had few, if any, superiors in this country and that 'Mexican News' is considered a fine example of his work. The entry in Appletons' Cyclopedia published two years before Jones' death reads, "He is regarded as one of the best engravers in the United States." Jones was born in Liverpool but emigrated while young, winning first prize at the National academy of design in New York in 1839. He invented a process for producing directly from a photograph a plate that could be printed with type.