Wednesday, January 31, 2007


For our Fall 2007 season I was being dragged into this "ghostly" theme by my research. Originally it wasn’t a conscious idea, it was more a theme that I kept running into accidentally. I became aware of it after prints started looking diffused rather than sharp. This diffusion was more or less a defense against knock offs. With all the iconography cropping up in prints now-a-days, I was trying to get a distinct technique that would separate Barking Irons from the recent flare of antique prints. Most of it is done with my pencil, but some of it is a result of older print shop methods and halftones in some of our out of print books.

The Daniel Divver print is not an example of this diffusion, but it is an example of how the now conscious theme of ghosts has become a part of the Fall 2007 collection.

Daniel Divver was born in Ireland in 1839. Soon after he came to New York and lived in the city's 4th Ward (Lower East Side closest to the East River). Divver, like all youth, had a fascination with being a volunteer fireman. When he became of age he joined the Eagle Engine Company No. 13 and proved his worth as one of the ladder's best men. As soon as the Civil War broke out, Daniel Divver joined the First Fire Zouaves and was elected Second Lieutenant. In 1861 during the battle of Bull Run, Divver's company met with a rally of Rebels.

Outnumbered and too proud to turn tail, Divver is reported to have rolled up he sleeves and yelled his old engine company's familiar "Get Down, Old Hague!" before rushing forward to his death. The Zouaves eventually pushed the Rebel force back enough to find Divver's body before his final breath. They said their goodbyes but could not move him as the South made another sally and Daniel Divver was never seen again. Until now. . .