History | Most significant contribution to art in 2400 Years

[The following was transcribed from 31 Jan 2023 Simcoe Reformer, page 1.]

Famous Son of Simcoe dies suddenly in New York

He was credited with having made the most significant contribution to Art in 2,400 years

The New York Times , in its issue of Monday of last week, contained a reference to the death of an old Simcoe boy, who had risen to the pinnacle of fame in that great city. Jay Hambidge, who will be remembered in Simcoe as Jay Hambridge, was born here on January 13th, 1867, and was the son of George Hambridge, and the grandson of John Hambridge, who had a butcher shop on Kent Street at about the place where John Sutton's shop now stands. His uncle, John Hambidge, formerly lived in Aylmer.

He became known as one of the greatest artists and illustrators that New York has known. The New York Times says of him:
"Jay Hambidge, of 301 West Sixty-sixth Street, artist and propounder of the theory of dynamic symmetry, which has caused discussion among artists and students of Greek art all over the world, died at 9.20 last night in Roosevelt Hospital, shortly after suffering a stroke of apoplexy while delivering a lecture to art students. He died a few minutes after his arrival at the hospital.

"He studied for his profession at the Art Students League in this city and as a pupil of William M. Chase. For several years he devoted himself to illustrating, but he had always been deeply interested in the contributions of the Greeks to art, and his intensive study of their works finally led to his beginning, about twenty years ago to search for the secret of their skill in design, their unerring sense of proportion. The result of his labors in this field was the theory of dynamic symmetry, now universally associated with his name.

"In 1920, Mr. Hambidge published his theory in a book in which he maintained that the secret he had sought lay in "measurements of areas" rather than in linear measurements. The Hellenic Society of London declared he had made the most significant contribution to art in 2400 years.

"Mr. Hambidge left a widow, who before her marriage to him in 1889 was Miss Cordelia Selina De Lorme of Council Bluffs, Iowa; two sons, two daughters, four sisters, and one brother, Charles J. Hambidge, political reporter for The New York Times."

Copyright 2002 John Cardiff and Norfolk Historical Society