Artist Profile: Edward Dalton Stevens (1878 — 1939)


1906 Illustration by Edward Dalton Stevens

This is a sad story.

Edward Dalton Stevens was born in 1878 in Virginia, the son of a technician at an oil company.  He was the younger brother of the illustrator, William Dodge Stevens.  Like his brother, Edward was eager to pursue a career as an artist and, just as William had done, Dalton left home at the age of 20 and enrolled at the Chicago Art Institute.

After Edward graduated in 1902, both he and William moved to New York City, where they worked together and eventually set up an art studio in Greenwich Village.  Both William and Edward found success working as commercial illustrators and they were responsible for some of the most memorable covers of the pulp era.  Edward and William both continued to live and work together through the Great Depression and both were highly respected and acclaimed for their work.

Tragically, at the start of the 1930s, Edward Dalton Stevens started to lose both his eyesight and his hearing.  Eventually, he became totally blind.  Unable to work and feeling that he had become  burden to his brother, Edward Dalton Stevens committed suicide on August 14th, 1939.  The following obit appeared in the New York Times:

As can be seen from the sampling of his work below, the artistic legacy of Edward Dalton Stevens continues to live on: