Newsboy- Thoughts on The Project

Boys of all ages made a living
selling papers on the street.

Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon has documented the entire process of creating a figurine of a newsboy and a life-size bronze sculpture. Watch the artist work through these posts. In this blog, she has also included information for students and teachers. In the previous post, we learned a little about the history of the artist and newspapers.

If you are lost in the chronological order and want to go back to the running list of posts, follow this link.

I woke up early with newsboy on my brain. So, I thought I would do some research on them. I googled newsboy to see what came up. As I find information about newsboys I will add it to the Newsboy Links page.

Before I even begin the sculpture I can feel the passion for this piece stirring in me. These newsboys were the delivery system for news. At this time period there was no other form of delivery. I am always thrilled when I find young people who make a difference in the world. Maybe that is why I have such a desire to help youth. They can realize their potential, and, in turn, make a difference.

These young entrepreneurs made a huge difference. In the beginning, they were the only way for news to get to the public. As I google and read about things people wrote about them, I stumbled on the topic of Thomas Edison as a newsboy. He sold papers on the train as a youth. “Certainly,” I thought, “there were probably many famous people who started out as newsboys.”

I couldn’t help but imagine what it was like to be a newsboy. Yes there were newsgirls, a little unknown item of history. Newsboys needed to sell the paper, but how tempting it would be to want to keep one to read. In some cases I am sure the paper was the only source of reading material for these youth, if they could read.

I am waiting on a phone call from someone who has an 11 year old boy, and am hoping that he fits my image of what I think this sculpture should look like. I think I might be able to get my hands on some period clothing, though I am wondering how difficult it will be to find shoes. My plan is to set up a photo shoot to try some different ideas for the sculpture. I’m hoping, by doing this photo shoot, that I can finalize some different poses and present these photos on Thursday Sept 2, when I meet with members of the committee. Once we decide on a pose I’ll set up another photo shoot focusing on that one pose alone, taking many rolls of film. This reference will be necessary to focus on the details.

Sunday August 29, 2004
I Googled once again! This time for photos of newsboys. I came up with several different items that I will put in a reference book to refer to while sculpting. I especially love the old photos, but there is nothing new about my loving old photos, I could spend hours looking at old photos. In fact I love the research on a project just as much as I love doing the project. It is also what I love about writing.

Because this sculpture is a part of history it makes it all the more fascinating for me. Though I will count on the photos from my own photo shoot, these stories and the images inspire me. If I look very closely I can look into the eyes of real children!

August 30, 2004
While pulling together the contract, I stopped at TITLE. I filled in Newsboy but I know that all sculptures tend to find their names as they progress. As I work, I will await those whispers that tell me the secret of what it should be called.

I am continuing to read the stories and history of the newsboys that I find on the Internet. I first struggled about reading Death of a Newsboy, but the massive amounts of information that was in this article written by Vincent DeGirolamo, in the Journal of Social History, is amazing. It has drawn me closer to the meaning behind the newsboys as a whole and this special boy. It will directly affect the personality of the sculpture and its spirit. Maybe this element is something that only I see or feel, or maybe it is part of what others notice and comment on when I hear them say, “Your work is so life like, or it has so much personality, or the faces, there is just something about the faces.”

I wish I had time to research some of the articles mentioned in Death of a Newsboy. I always like to saturate myself with the subject as much as possible.|

I have found a period costume for the photo shoot. Although there are some things about the outfit that I don’t like, I can change these things in the sculpture. Taking these preliminary photos will help me to define a pose. It enables me to look at alternatives that I have not seen and to notice the sculpture pose from other directions. I have found other sculptures of newsboys on the Internet. I certainly don’t want to copy them. I am waiting for this sculpture to unfold itself, though I know that ultimately the scene will come alive within the clay.


Art and History
• What is the difference between a newsboy and a newscarrier?
• Do you know anyone who was a newsboy or newscarrier?
• Which character in Death of a Newsboy is your favorite and why?
• In the article, A History of Newboys in America the Spanish-American war affected the newsboys. How did it affect the newsboys in a positive way, and what affect did the end of the war have on the newsboys?

Let’s go to the next page in this chronological order of the creating of a Newsboy Sculpture and to The Beginning.

The above photos
The top two are by Hines and were found at:

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