Title: Jay N. "Ding" Darling
Dimensions: 40 x 42 in. (101.6 x 106.7 cm)
Signed: Orr C. Fisher, in red, lower right
Credit Line: Gift of Donna L. Howard. In the permanent collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
A student of Grant Wood, Orr Fisher painted this portrait the year following Darling's death to honor a friend and artist whom he had worked with in the first decade of the century. As befitting a memorial, Fisher included many of the symbols closely associated with Darling: a sculpture of Uncle John; Darling's most famous cartoon commemorating the life and death of his friend Teddy Roosevelt; a Republican Elephant-first developed by illustrator Thomas Nast in 1874 for Harper's Weekly to signify the Republication Party; a globe representing Darling's world perspectives and impacts; books symbolizing the importance of education; Darling's daily drawing tools; a newspaper with 1929 implying Darling's extensive knowledge and understanding of economic impacts. Seated at his desk, Darling is depicted drawing the editorial cartoon No One has a Monopoly on Bad Luck, syndicated on October 30, 1929, the day following the Stock Market Crash that heralded the Great Depression.
This portrait by Orr Fisher was the last painting he created for which he received a blue ribbon award at the Iowa State Fair.