Artist & Professor

(The Senseney Family In Wheeling)

Presented by Linda Fluharty

     George Eyster Senseney, born 11 Oct 1874 in Wheeling, W. Va., was the son of Charles H. Senseney and Anna May Eyster. Charles H. Senseney served during the Civil in the Carlin's Battery "D" First West Virginia Light Artillery.

      Numerous articles about George Eyster Senseney are found in the New York Times:

[May 16, 1908 - June 21, 1908].

     The following is from the book, "Sensineys in America," compiled by Barton Sensenig and copyrighted in 1943:

"George Eyster Senseney, b. 10-11-1874; m. Dorothy Lucile Stewart of Philadelphia, Pa. She is the daughter of William Wright Stewart, an American painter. At the time of her marriage she exhibited in the salons of Paris exquisite examples of craftsmanship in jewelry. Three children were born of this union: a. Virginia Stewart, b. 8-20-1913; b. George Leonard, b. 9-18-1923; Instructor in Aeronautics; c. William Stewart Senseney, b. 9-29-1926.

Since George Eyster Senseney is one of the most prominent members of the big “Sensiney” family of America, we shall set forth his record at some length, as follows: He was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, attended the public schools of that city and Linsley military academy. He studied art in Corcoran School of Art, Washington, D. C.; and privately, under Howard Helmick, a well-known artist of Washington. In the year 1899 he went to Paris and studied in the Academie Julien under the masters Jean Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant. He exhibited paintings, etchings, and drawings, in the Paris Salon in 1901. He was the first artist in this country to practice the art of color etching, though at that time there were artists who were printing color etchings in France. George developed the art along individual lines. As an example, he had to make his own inks, and was influenced but slightly by what was done abroad.

He taught a class in etching at the Art Students League in New York in the years 1906-07. Returning to France, he worked along his line from 1910 to 1914. During this period he etched in color; also, lithographs, and wood blocks, and laid the technical foundation which was to serve in creating and manufacturing decorative papers later on. In 1911 he was elected a member of the “Societé des Graveurs Original en Couleurs” in Paris, being one of the two members allowed to foreign countries. In 1912, he was elected President of the “Societé des Artists de Picardeé”; a group of artists of various nationalities residing in the north of France.

In association with Frederick F. Fursman, he established the “New School of Art” in Chicago, and was elected President of the Chicago “Society of Etchers” in 1915. In 1917 he taught design in Smith College, and was also employed as art director of the American Writing Paper Company in Holyoke, Mass.; developing there a process of “marbling” papers. In 1921, George Senseney, Russell H. Breewell, and Francis C. Heywood, all at that time employed by the American Writing Paper Company, left its employ to form the Marvellum Company of Holyoke, the first to manufacture marbled paper by machine. The company soon expanded its busi- ness into coating, embossing, and printing decorative papers in every conceivable way.

George was awarded a silver medal for etching at the Panama Pacific Exposition, and his etchings are found in museums in this country and abroad. He considers himself fortunate in having found a way to employ his knowledge of etching, engraving, and printing, in industry; and at the same time keep in touch with the art of today. He is still active as President of the Marvellum Company. Among various patents, he has a patent on a textile printing process, which he considers a decided contribution to the art of textile printing. This process will be known as “Sentone.” He is at present getting ready an experimental machine to demonstrate the process to a large textile printing company. He has had experience in textile printing, having developed the “Sensagraph Process” for silks, which was used extensively, and he knows more about various processes of printing than any other man alive, in that he can engrave and etch printing rolls, and is constantly doing so, and makes inks and colors for all classes of printing. There are experts in Lithography, Photoengraving, Embossing, Rotogravure, Offset Printing, etc., but as a rule they know their own particular process. He has a working knowledge of practically all the processes, which he has put into practical manufacturing, designing machines for the same, making colors, and engraved rolls for the same. George has accomplished his great work under handicap. He has been lame on account of infantile paralysis when eighteen months of age. All of the big “Sensiney” family can well be proud of numbering George Eyster Senseney among our cousins.

(Used with permission)

     George Eyster Senseney died in November 1943 and his obituary appeared in the New York Times on Nov 19th.