A.B. Frost’s Early Street Sketches and Reportage

Arthur Burdette Frost's early work was principally in pen line - like most book and magazine illustrations of the period. Line drawings reproduced better and were cheaper to engrave than halftone art. As one of Harper's star artists, Frost was often sent out to cover articles on different parts of the country. Small towns and backwater villages as well as cities like Atlanta and Washington D.C.

Along the way he was constantly drawing, gathering material for the story he was working on as well as stockpiling images for the many fictional stories he would illustrate later. He had taken a keen eye for depicting everyday people, the small town laborers, shop-keepers and farmers. His sketches of street life give a real taste of what life was like in the late part of the 1800s. Here's a sampling of that work.

The Chair Vendor, 1879 drawn by A.B. Frost. Atlanta

The Chair Vendor, 1879

J.C. Harris Story. Century 1887

J.C. Harris Story. Century 1887

Street Musicans, Harper 1879

Street Musicans, Harper 1879

Soldiers Home Washington DC, 1881

Soldiers Home Washington DC, 1881

Washington DC Tourists. Harpers 1881 Drawn by A.B. Frost

Washington DC Tourists. Harpers 1881

Perdue's Corner, Century Magazine, 1887

Perdue's Corner, Century Magazine, 1887

Our Summer Outing, Harper 1887

Our Summer Outing, Harper 1887

Harpers Magazine 1881

Want more of A.B. Frost? Check out these selections at Monroe Street Books.

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