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North American Prints, 1913-1947
An Examination at Century’s End

Edited by David Tatham

Cloth $34.95s    |    0-8156-3071-9    |    2006

A distinctive collection of essays exploring an important era in printmaking in North America, this volume displays the range and significance of printmaking and enriches our knowledge of these critical decades.

"[A] valuable resource for those who write about the graphic arts today and will in the future. The first-person account of . . . their initial experiences as artists, the importance of social issues in their work in the 1930s, and their present endeavors is an excellent coda to the volume."
—Georgia B. Barnhill, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts at the American Antiquarian Society

Illustrations, ix
Acknowledgments, xi
Contributors, xv
Introduction, xvii

Part One: The Era
1. American Prints, 1913-1947: A Reexamination at Century’s End, contributed by Clinton Adams, page 3
2. A National Audience for Prints: The Smithsonian’s Special Exhibition Program, 1923-1948; contributed by Helena E. Wright, page 26

Part Two: Case Studies
3. A National Work: Canada’s Printmaking Program During the Great War, contributed by Rosemarie Tovell, page 63
4. The Tenant Cabin: Rural Life for the Common Folk, Especially Womenfolk, in Prints of the South, contributed by Lynn Barstis Williams, page 82
5. Drawn to Stone: The Early Lithographs of Yasuo Kuniyoshi; contributed by David Prince, page 99
6. Herbert Pullinger of Philadelphia: A Memoir; contributed by Martin P. Snyder, page 110
7. What Drove the Precisionists in the Machine Age: Printmaking in the 1920s and 1930s; contributed by Marilyn Kushner, page 123
8. With an Itch to Etch: The Five Ediths and the Syracuse Printmakers, contributed by Anne Ziegler, page 134

Part Three: Documenting the Era
9. Printmaking in the 1930s and 1940s: A Conversation with Abe Blashko, Mark Freeman, and Charles Keller, contributed by Domenic J. Iacono, page 149
10. Above/Below: Skyscrapers to Subways in New York City, 1913-1949, contributed by Domenic J. Iacono, page 164

Notes, page 171
Index, page 191

In this collection of essays, eight contemporary scholars examine the rich diversity in the subject, style, and geography of printmaking from 1913-1947, a singular period of artistic creation. Also, three distinguished printmakers, who were active during the 1930s and 1940s, share their recollections of those decades, offering rare, firsthand accounts of the political, social,and cultural elements that influenced the artists and their work.

David Tatham has chosen two watershed events, the Armory Show of 1913 and the important Brooklyn Museum exhibition of 1947, as the temporal bookends for this collection. Recognizing this era as wholly distinct from what had gone before and what was to come after it in graphic arts, the volume’s contributors illuminate the period’s spirited and vital debate about style, content, and the role of prints in society.

Offering fresh assessments and newly understood historical contexts, the essays bring well-deserved attention to artists whose work has often been neglected, while it reexamines the works of well-known artists. This volume represents an important contribution to the study of printmaking by illustrating the way in which historical and contemporary graphic arts occupy a vital and central presence in the culture of our times.

Clinton Adams (1918-2002) was a distinguished painter, printmaker, teacher, arts administrator, and author and editor of many studies relating to the graphic arts. He was a founder in 1960 of the Tamarind Institute in Los Angeles and its director after it moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1971. He was professor of art at the University of California, Los Angeles, and later at the University of New Mexico. His books include American Lithographers 1900-1960 (1983) and Crayonstone: The Life and Work of Bolton Brown (1993).

Domenic J. Iacono, associate director of the Syracuse University Art Collection, has organized many exhibitions for both the Art Collection’s on-campus galleries and its gallery at the university’s Lubin House in New York City. He has overseen the development of the collection’s extensive holdings of twentieth-century American prints.

Marilyn Kushner is curator of prints and drawings at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. She is the author of exhibition catalogue essays and coauthor of Winslow Homer: Illustrating America (2000).

David Prince, curator and assistant director of the Syracuse University Art Collection, is the author of several exhibition catalogues.

Martin P. Snyder (1912-2004) was a noted collector of prints as well as the author of City of Independence: Views of Philadelphia before 1800 (1975) and Mirror of America: Developing Life of Philadelphia as Seen in Engravings, 1801-1876 (1986).

David Tatham, professor of fine arts, emeritus, at Syracuse University, is the author of numerous books, articles, and exhibition catalogues concerning American painters and graphic artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His books relating to the graphic arts include Winslow Homer and the Illustrated Book (1992) and Winslow Homer and the Pictorial Press (2003). He is the editor of Prints and Printmakers of New York State (1986).

Rosemarie Tovell has been a curator of Canadian prints at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Her book A New Class of Art: The Artist’s Print in Canadian Art, 1877-1920 (1996) won the Ewell Newman Book Award of the American Historical Print Collectors Society.

Lynn Barstis Williams is art and special collections librarian at Auburn University Libraries in Alabama. She collects and writes about prints of the South. Her book on southern printmakers and their images is forthcoming from the University of Alabama Press.

Helena E. Wright, curator of graphic arts at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History since 1983, has worked with museum image collections for nearly forty years. Her research centers on prints and other pictorial media, including the reception of graphic work in the construction of a larger visual culture. She is the author of Prints at the Smithsonian: The Origins of a National Collection (1996) and of numerous essays and articles.

Anne Ziegler has served as a member of the library staff at the Whitney Museum of American Art and is now humanities and arts librarian at Arcadia University, Pennsylvania.

David Tatham is professor emeritus of fine arts at Syracuse University. His books on nineteenth-century art include Winslow Homer and the Pictorial Press, Winslow Homer and the Illustrated Book, and Winslow Homer in the Adirondacks, all published by Syracuse University Press.

6 x 9, 232 pages, 57 black-and-white illustrations, bibliography, index

North American Prints, 1913-1947 An Examination at Century’s End

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