Gibson Defied the Stereotype
"The Reason Dinner Was Late," Life, October 24, 1912.
Ten years later, Gibson published "The Reason Dinner Was Late." This sequel to "An Imitation" depicts several Irish domestics watching as their coworker sketches the visiting Irish cop. The mixing of Hibernian maids, cooks, and cops was a familiar theme in comic illustrations. Again, what sets this image apart is that Gibson portrays his subjects without scorn (although, as the title suggests, dinner gets served later than mistress would want). One can only speculate on why Gibson did not follow the trend in disparaging the Irish. My own guess is that as a child of privilege--Gibson grew up in a wealthy Connecticut household--he may well have had an Irish nursemaid or cook, much as did so many among America's elite. If that were so, one suspects that he nurtured fond memories of a friendly kitchen.