19th Century Prints, Americana, Early 20th Century, Engraving, Genre, Past/Present, Prints, Wood

Past/Present: Harvest

Today, we are drawing inspiration from the crisp fall air and turning leaves, and are featuring two wood engravings of corn harvesting. Wood engravings are made from the end-grain surface of very hard wood, usually boxwood. Rather than cutting away non-printing areas with a knife ( like a woodcut), wood engravings are made with fine engraving tools which are used to engrave the non-printing areas with incredible precision and detail. It is the surface that takes the ink and prints.

Winslow Homer is known as one of America’s most famous painters, water-colorists, and printmakers. He was born in Boston on February 24, 1836, and was apprenticed to the lithographer, J. H. Bufford of Boston, at the age of nineteen.  Homer started a long career as an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly in the late 1850’s and produced a large body of work during the Civil War, showing the intense and chaotic lives of soldiers and volunteers. After the war, Homer’s prints illustrated simpler times, with scenes of women and children at the beach, families on outings in the country, or sweet and tender indoor moments. The prints were a reflection of the nostalgia for earlier times, a sentiment the artist shared strongly with the American public after the Civil War.

Clare Leighton was an artist, writer and wood engraver, best known for her illustrated books documenting English rural life (The Farmer’s Year, 1933, Four Hedges, 1935), and her recording of life in America. Leighton immigrated to America in 1939, and was inspired by the work ethic and beauty of life in the country, at a time period when industrialization and urbanization were booming. Her prints are among the most celebrated and poignant records of American rural life of their period.

Image on Left: The Last Days of Harvest. By Winslow Homer. Published by Harper’s Weekly.  Wood engraving,  December 6, 1873.

Image on Right: Corn Pulling. By Clare Leighton. Wood engraving, 1952.

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19th Century Prints, Engraving, Lithograph, Past/Present, Portraits, Prints

Past/Present: Presidents of the United States

Today we have two prints of American presidents, one published in 1842 and one published forty-seven years later in 1889. The older print is a decorative arrangement of the first ten American presidents, from George Washington to John Tyler. The 1889 print is an impression from the black stone of an untitled, unfinished color lithograph, depicting 23 presidents, from George Washington to Benjamin Harrison.  The older print is very ornate, decorated with flags, a stately eagle, and fine, flowery script.  In contrast, 1883 print is more austere and informative. We hope you enjoy!

Image on Left: Presidents of the United States.  By Thomas Illman. Engraving, 1842.

Image on Right: [Presidents of the United States].  Published by Bufford Litho. Company.  Lithograph, c.1889.

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19th Century Prints, Aquatint, Color Woodcut, Contemporary, Early 20th Century, Engraving, Etching, Pencil Drawing, Photo engraving, Prints, Sporting, Watercolor, Wood, Woodcut

Print Round-Up: Bicycles

From the earliest depictions of penny farthings and velocipedes on dirt lanes, to modern-day prints of bike commuters navigating busy city streets, our prints celebrate and illustrate the convenience, athleticism, and joy of cycling.  Some of our historic prints show the bicycle in its earliest stages of development- with over-sized front wheels, or still lacking pedals or gears. They also highlight the beginnings of a strong “bike culture” in the 19th century. Many took to this popular form of transportation and amusement, going on long afternoon group rides or joining cycling clubs. We also have several great racing prints, showing fans at the velodrome, watching racers sprint around and around. Contemporary artists like Art Werger, Susan Pyzow, and Su-Li Hung have also depicted cyclists in their prints.

We hope you enjoy our bike print round-up, and we invite you to visit our Washington DC and New York City galleries to view these prints in person!

Tourists. By A. B. Frost. Published by Harper's Weekly. Photoengraving, hand colored, 1896. Image size 8 1/2 x 12 1/2" (215 x 317 mm). AT OPG.

Tourists. By A. B. Frost. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Photoengraving, hand colored, 1896. Image size 8 1/2 x 12 1/2″ (215 x 317 mm). AT OPG.

Six-Day Bike Race. BY Joseph W. Golinkin. Watercolor, c.1940. Image size 20 x 24" (508 x 610 mm). AT OPS.

Six-Day Bike Race. By Joseph W. Golinkin. Watercolor, c.1940. Image size 20 x 24″ (508 x 610 mm). AT OPS.

Bicyclist. By Susan Pyzow.  Etching, 2002. Image size 9 x 11 7/8" (225 x 300 mm). Edition 40. AT OPG.

Bicyclist. By Susan Pyzow. Etching, 2002. Image size 9 x 11 7/8″ (225 x 300 mm). Edition 40. AT OPG.

Cyclist Duo. By Richard Sloat. Etching, 2003. Image size 6 x 9 1/2" (152 x 240 mm). Edition 7. AT OPS.

Cyclist Duo. By Richard Sloat. Etching, 2003. Image size 6 x 9 1/2″ (152 x 240 mm). Edition 7. AT OPS.

Bike Lane, Queensborough Bridge. By Steven E. Walker. Woodcut, 2005. Image size 9 9/16 x 7 1/8" (243 x 180 mm). Edition 75. AT OPG.

Bike Lane, Queensborough Bridge. By Steven E. Walker. Woodcut, 2005. Image size 9 9/16 x 7 1/8″ (243 x 180 mm). Edition 75. AT OPG.

A Velocipede of Fifty Years Ago. Published in Harper's Weekly. Wood engraving, with modern handcoloring, 1869. Image size 4 3/16 x 5 3/4" (105 x 146 mm). AT OPS.

A Velocipede of Fifty Years Ago. Published in Harper’s Weekly. Wood engraving, with modern handcoloring, 1869. Image size 4 3/16 x 5 3/4″ (105 x 146 mm). AT OPS.

Bicycle in America.  The Germantown Bicycle Club starting out for a Race. By W. P. Snyder. Published in Harper's Weekly. Wood engraving, with modern handcoloring, Feb. 7, 1880.  Image size 6 5/8 x 9 1/8" (168 x 231 mm). AT OPG.

Bicycle in America. The Germantown Bicycle Club starting out for a Race. By W. P. Snyder. Published in Harper’s Weekly. Wood engraving, with modern handcoloring, Feb. 7, 1880. Image size 6 5/8 x 9 1/8″ (168 x 231 mm). AT OPG.

A Tour Awheel. By W. A. Rogers. Published by Harper's Weekly. Photogravure, 1899. Image size 6 1/2 x 8 3/8" (164 x 211 mm). AT OPS.

A Tour Awheel. By W. A. Rogers. Published by Harper’s Weekly. Photogravure, 1899. Image size 6 1/2 x 8 3/8″ (164 x 211 mm). AT OPS.

Figure Study, Woman on Bicycle. By Martin Lewis. Pencil on paper, c.1935. Image size 7 x 3 1/8" (178 x 80 mm). AT OPS.

Figure Study, Woman on Bicycle. By Martin Lewis. Pencil on paper, c.1935. Image size 7 x 3 1/8″ (178 x 80 mm). AT OPS.

Bicycle. By Su-Li Hung. Woodcut, 2007. Image size 11 3/4 x 12 1/4" (298 x 315 mm). Edition 50. AT OPS.

Bicycle. By Su-Li Hung. Woodcut, 2007. Image size 11 3/4 x 12 1/4″ (298 x 315 mm). Edition 50. AT OPS.

Wheeling on Riverside Drive. BY T. de Thulstrup. Published by Harper's Weekly, New York. Wood engraving, July 17, 1886. Image size 13 3/4 x 19 7/8" (343 x 556 mm.) AT OPG.

Wheeling on Riverside Drive. By T. de Thulstrup. Published by Harper’s Weekly, New York. Wood engraving, July 17, 1886. Image size 13 3/4 x 19 7/8″ (343 x 556 mm.) AT OPG.

The Velodrome de la Seine: The Grand-stand. By Georges Scott. Wood engraving, c.1880. Image size 12 1/4 x 19 5/8" (310 x 499 mm.) AT OPG.

The Velodrome de la Seine: The Grand-stand. By Georges Scott. Wood engraving, c.1880. Image size 12 1/4 x 19 5/8″ (310 x 499 mm.) AT OPG.

The Century Run. By Jay Hambidge. Published by Truth Company. Color photoengraving, 1897. Image size 11 x 17 7/8" (273 x 455 mm.). AT OPG.

The Century Run. By Jay Hambidge. Published by Truth Company. Color photoengraving, 1897. Image size 11 x 17 7/8″ (273 x 455 mm.). AT OPG.

Cycling in England - Down the Ripley Road. By Joseph Pennell. Published by Harper's Weekly, New York, Oct. 22, 1887. Wood engraving, hand colored, 1887. Image size  9 1/4 x 12 5/8" (236 x 325 mm). AT OPG.

Cycling in England – Down the Ripley Road. By Joseph Pennell. Published by Harper’s Weekly, New York, Oct. 22, 1887. Wood engraving, hand colored, 1887. Image size 9 1/4 x 12 5/8″ (236 x 325 mm). AT OPG.

Bicycling on Riverside Drive, New York. By W. A. Rogers. Published by Harper's Weekly, New York. Photoengraving, hand colored, c. 1895. Image size 8 1/2 x 13 1/4" (214 x 339 mm). AT OPG.

Bicycling on Riverside Drive, New York. By W. A. Rogers. Published by Harper’s Weekly, New York. Photoengraving, hand colored, c. 1895. Image size 8 1/2 x 13 1/4″ (214 x 339 mm). AT OPG.

Delivery. By Art Werger. Etching and aquatint, 2013. Image size 13 1/8 x 9 3/16" (333 x 245 mm). Ed 25. AT OPG.

Delivery. By Art Werger. Etching and aquatint, 2013. Image size 13 1/8 x 9 3/16″ (333 x 245 mm). Ed 25. AT OPG.

AT OPG= Print is located at The Old Print Gallery, 1220 31st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007. www.oldprintgallery.com  t: 202-965-1818

AT OPS= Print is located at The Old Print Shop, 150 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, 10016. www.oldprintshop.com  t:212-683-3950

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18th Century Prints, 19th Century Prints, Copperplate, Engraving, Lithograph, Mezzotint, Portraits, Prints

Benjamin Franklin Portraits

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) is considered to be one of the greatest of all of our founding fathers. A highly intelligent man, over his lifetime he was an able scientist, a writer, printer, and publisher. He was one of the most successful diplomats that the United States ever had. During the Revolutionary War, he acted as American Minister to France, successfully gaining French support for the American cause. He was also the only person who signed all four of the key documents in American history: The Declaration of Independence; The Treaty of Alliance with France; The Treaty of Peace with Great Britain; and The Constitution of the United States.

Below are several portraits of Benjamin Franklin. Some artists chose to portray him as a scientist, some as a political figure, but all are stately and handsome portraits of this fine leader.

B. Franklin of Philadelphia.  L.L.D. F.R.S. By Benjamin Wilson. Mezzotint engraving, 1761. Engraved by James McArdell (1728-1765). Second state of two. The painter, Wilson, was also an experimenter with electricity. He met Franklin soon after his arrival in London and received Franklin commissions to paint family members. Here Franklin is depicted with a book titled "Electric Expts."  A static-electricity machine (the glass globe on a table) appears at right. To the rear a boldtof lightning flashes dtrikes down toward a distant city.

B. Franklin of Philadelphia. L.L.D. F.R.S. By Benjamin Wilson. Mezzotint engraving, 1761. Engraved by James McArdell (1728-1765). Second state of two. The painter, Wilson, was also an experimenter with electricity. He met Franklin soon after his arrival in London and received Franklin commissions to paint family members. Here Franklin is depicted with a book titled “Electric Expts.” A static-electricity machine (the glass globe on a table) appears at right. To the rear a bolt of lightning flashes strikes down toward a distant city. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin. From a painting by Greuze, at the Boston Athanaeum formerly owned by Jefferson. By Joseph-Silfrede Duplessis. Lith & Published by S.W. Chandler & Bro. 204 Washington St. Boston. Lithograph, 1854. The original painting for this print was originally owned by Thomas Jefferson. After Jefferson's death, it was sold to the Boston Athenaeum. Jefferson's originally attributed the painting to the artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze. It was later re-attributed to Joseph-Silfrede Duplessis. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin. By Joseph-Silfrede Duplessis. Lith & Published by S.W. Chandler & Bro. 204 Washington St. Boston. Lithograph, 1854. The original painting for this print was originally owned by Thomas Jefferson. After Jefferson’s death, it was sold to the Boston Athenaeum. Jefferson’s originally attributed the painting to the artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze. It was later re-attributed to Joseph-Silfrede Duplessis. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin L.L.D. Envoy from the American Congress to the French Court. From "An Impartial History of the War in America", London. Copper plate engraving, 1780. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin L.L.D. Envoy from the American Congress to the French Court. From “An Impartial History of the War in America”, London. Copper plate engraving, 1780. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin.   The Statesman and Philosopher. 152. Published by N. Currier, New York. Lithograph hand colored, 1847. No. 44 of the "Best 50" small-folio Currier and Ives lithographs. One of America's most important colonial figures, Franklin is depicted in white stock and full-trimmed coat. Around him is a decorative gilded frame surmounted with the American eagle. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin. The Statesman and Philosopher. 152. Published by N. Currier, New York. Lithograph hand colored, 1847. No. 44 of the “Best 50″ small-folio Currier and Ives lithographs. One of America’s most important colonial figures, Franklin is depicted in white stock and full-trimmed coat. Around him is a decorative gilded frame surmounted with the American eagle. LINK.

D. Benjamin Franklin, et vita inter Americanos acta, et magnis electricitatis periculis clarus. Engraved by Johann Elias Haid. Mezzotint engraving, 1778. The scarce first version of Haid's mezzotint portrait of Benjamin Franklin. Haid made two portraits of Franklin using the same title and engraved pedestal surround. The this is the first and was based on the painting by Benjamin Wilson. The later mezzotint by Haid depicts Franklin in his fir hat. LINK.

D. Benjamin Franklin, et vita inter Americanos acta, et magnis electricitatis periculis clarus. Engraved by Johann Elias Haid. Mezzotint engraving, 1778. The scarce first version of Haid’s mezzotint portrait of Benjamin Franklin. Haid made two portraits of Franklin using the same title and engraved pedestal surround. The this is the first and was based on the painting by Benjamin Wilson. The later mezzotint by Haid depicts Franklin in his fur hat. LINK.

D. Benjamin Franklin, et vita inter Americanos acta, et magnis electricitatis periculis clarus. By Charles-Nicolas  Cochin.  Engraved by Johann Elias Haid. Mezzotint engraving, 1780.  A handsome and scarce portrait engraved by Haid (1739-1809). This mezzotint is the later of two oval portraits  engraved by Haid of Franklin. LINK.

D. Benjamin Franklin, et vita inter Americanos acta, et magnis electricitatis periculis clarus. By Charles-Nicolas Cochin. Engraved by Johann Elias Haid. Mezzotint engraving, 1780. A handsome and scarce portrait engraved by Haid (1739-1809). This mezzotint is the later of two oval portraits engraved by Haid of Franklin. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin. Printed by J. Neale. Mezzotint, c. 1790. LINK.

Benjamin Franklin. Printed by J. Neale. Mezzotint, c. 1790.A handsome portrait of Franklin, shown seated among books, papers, and a globe.  LINK.

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19th Century Prints, Early 20th Century, Etching, Lithograph, Natural History, Prints

Past/Present: Herons

Today we have a new P/P post, featuring two prints of herons. The older print comes from the first octavo edition of Audubon’s The Birds of America. After the original elephant folio edition was completed, Audubon decided to produce a more affordable edition and employed a lithographer from Philadelphia, J. T. Bowen, to do the job. Bowen and his team created a smaller octavo edition, which was issued to subscribers in seven volumes and completed in 1844. Five more octavo editions were completed through 1877.

The octavo edition used the same text from Audubon and MacGillivray’s earlier Ornithological Biography, the accompanying text to the elephant folio edition, but increased the number of plates to 500. They did this by separating several of the birds that had appeared grouped together in the octavo edition.

The 20th century print is by Frank Benson. Benson was born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts. He spent a great deal of time in the salt marshes that surrounded his coastal town studying, as well as hunting, various waterfowl. He painted his first oil of shore birds at the age of twelve. At nineteen, he attended the School of Drawing and Painting of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. While attending the school he produced his first etching, “Salem Harbor.” In 1883, he traveled to Paris to study at the Academie Julie and for the next thirty years devoted his artistic talent to painting and watercolor.

In 1912, at the age of fifty, he again began to produce prints. At first, these prints were portraits, then the subject shifted to waterfowl and nature oriented subjects, totaling over 355 various prints before his death in 1951. Today, Benson is considered the founder of the school of American sporting art and his prints are some of the most desirable.

Image on Left: Great White Heron.  (Male adult, Spring plumage).  Pl. 368. By John James Audubon. Lithograph handcolored, 1840-44. From the first octavo edition of  The Birds of America.  Printed and colored by J. T. Bowen, Philadelphia.

Image on Right: Snowy Herons. By Frank W. Benson. Etching, 1917. Edition 150.

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