America’s Darling:  The Story of Jay N. “Ding” Darling

Press ReleasesScreenings and Events News
Production PhotosArchival Treasures – Contemporary Artists 

Archival Treasures

Look what we’ve discovered!

Art Works

A sample of Darling’s early art works from his childhood as well as adulthood.

An undated Christmas cartoon of Mary Darling.

From Christopher “Kip” Koss: “Jay ‘Ding’ Darling (‘Bah Bah,’ as I used to call him) drew this for me in 1940, when I was about five years old.  It represents one of the advantages of having a grandfather with wonderful drawing skills and a great sense of humor.”


Darling Article: This article (c.1903) from a trade magazine describes Darling in his early days as a cartoonist at the Sioux City Journal. (Courtesy private collection)

Letter to Darling from Francis Gallup, Art Director, The American Cartoonist Magazine. (Courtesy private collection)

Read about a plot to kidnap Darling in this 1934 Des Moines Register article

View a 1929 article from Better Homes and Gardens: “J. N. Darling in His Garden: His Humanness and Love for Children Help to Make Him a Great Cartoonist.”

An inscription by Darling to Maynard Reece on his book It Seems Like Only Yesterday.


1898 – Junior in Beloit College in his own handwriting. (Courtesy University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections)

Darling and a Curtiss Oriole Aircraft (Courtesy University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections)

Archival photos of the Fish House as it appeared in Darling’s time.

An undated photo of Darling’s father, Rev. Marcellus Darling. (Courtesy Sioux City Public Museum)

Artist Maynard Reece’s 1937 High School Graduating Class.  Reece was mentored by Darling.

Theodore Roosevelt’s granddaughter, eight-year-old Edith Derby, unveils a bronze reproduction of Darling’s “Long, Long Trail” cartoon at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City in this 1925 Des Moines Register photo. L-R: E. C. Fogg, J. N. Darling, Laura Gardin Fraser, Edith Derby, Henry Justin Allen, Elon H. Hooker.

Audio Clips

In this excerpt from a 1952 letter to William Hard of Readers’ Digest, Darling discusses the devastating effects of soil erosion on American agricultural land.
(Courtesy University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections)

In this 1955 audio clip, Darling explains how he created his most often reproduced cartoon, “The Long, Long, Trail,” upon hearing of the death of Theodore Roosevelt.

Cartoons (Courtesy University of Iowa Special Collections)

A sample of Darling’s early cartoons from the Sioux City Journal.

In this 1903 cartoon, Darling celebrates the birth of aviation.

Darling’s 1903 and 1927 Christmas cartoons.

A sample of Darling’s cartoons from the 1920s.

Darling’s 1922 Memorial Day Cartoon.

Darling’s humorous commentary on labor legislation in this 1936 cartoon.

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