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Albert T. Reid

Photograph of Albert T. Reid at his easelCartoonist: Born: August 12, 1873, Concordia, Kansas.  Died: November 26, 1958, New York City.

On September 11, 1896, Albert Turner Reid sold his first political cartoon to the Topeka Mail and Breeze. A Cloud County native, Reid longed to pursue an artistic career. After this first cartoon, his work began to appear regularly in the Kansas City Journal, Kansas City Star, Chicago Record, and the New York Herald as well as several national magazines including the Saturday Evening Post.

Reid was a successful businessman, a staunch supporter of the American farmer, a composer, a painter of murals and a teacher of art. The art school which he started with George Stone in Topeka was the beginning of Washburn's Art Department.

Above all, Reid's cartoons remain a real contribution to the history of American politics. His original target was Populism, but he soon extolled the virtues of Theodore Roosevelt and the Bull Moose cause. He recorded public reaction to the Spanish-American War and Carry Nation's campaign against saloons. Reid was a master of pen and ink and his work rivals anyone else working in illustrations from the 1890s to World War I. If he had been active in larger political centers, he probably would have received even more recognition. As it was, by the time of his death in 1958, he had accumulated countless honors, prizes and medals and was a widely-known spokesman for American artists.

Albert T. Reid's cartoonAlthough a talented artist and successful newspaper publisher, Albert T. Reid is probably best remembered for his political cartoons. Reid sold his first cartoon to the Topeka Mail & Breeze in 1896. For the next 30 years, his cartoons appeared regularly in Kansas City, Chicago, and New York newspapers and several national magazines. They remain today a major contribution to the history of American politics. A large collection of his work is in the collections of the Kansas Historical Society.

In the 1890s Reid opened an art school in Topeka with George M. Stone, the state's foremost portrait painter. This school marked the beginning of the Washburn University art department. During his life Reid also was an editor and publisher of newspapers in Topeka and Leavenworth, a prosperous businessman, a composer, and a painter of murals. He died at the age of 85 in 1958.

Entry: Reid, Albert T.

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2003

Date Modified: November 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.