Drawing of Hall Mark Quirk Quality

This original artwork in pencil, ink, and wash was created for a printed piece advertising the services of Chicago wood engraver Nicholas J. Quirk about 1900. The design, including a wood block, engraving tools, and a woodpecker as a symbol of the trade, was modified for use as a logo by the Brotherhood of Engravers in 1902.
The Quirk Collection represents a significant body of work by N. J. Quirk (1863–1940) and his son Nicholas Paul Quirk (1898–1983), together with numerous business cards and specimen sheets from their fellow wood engravers and printing concerns, mostly in the midwestern United States, but also from Canada and Japan. Engraved wood blocks, electrotype plates, photographs, original artwork, proofs, prints, brochures, catalogs and other examples of commercial illustration and wood engraving, plus associated reference material, are included. Subjects represented include portraits (including six Presidents, Joseph Conrad, and Charles Lindbergh), machinery, jewelry, maritime and military work, holiday offerings, and printing trade and union-related items. Most of the 454 catalogued items date from the 1880s up through the 1970s.
Evidence in the collection suggests that Nicholas J. Quirk worked as superintendent of the wood-engraving department of Henderson-Achert Lithography Company in Cincinnati and had his own business there as Quirk & Co., before moving to Chicago in the 1890s. He had his own business at several Chicago addresses and worked for the Globe Engraving and Electrotype Company and the Hawtin Engraving Company. Around 1900 he styled himself as a "marine illustrator." Nicholas Paul Quirk spent his entire working life in Chicago, first with his father and later at the Zacher Engraving Company, where wood engraver Judith Jaidinger Szesko also worked during the 1960s. Mrs Szesko donated the Quirk Collection to NMAH in 1996.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
ca 1900
graphic artist
Quirk, Nicholas J.
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 25.5 cm x 18.2 cm; 10 1/16 in x 7 3/16 in
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Associated Place
United States: Illinois, Chicago
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Graphic Arts
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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