19th Century Prints, American Views, Chromolithograph, Collage, Contemporary, Landscapes, Lithograph, Past/Present, Prints, Transfer print

Past/Present: Fall

Today is the first day of Fall, the autumnal equinox, “one of the two periods of the year when the sun crosses the equator and the days and nights are in equal length all over the earth” as explained by this article.  To celebrate this shift in seasons, we have a new Past/Present for you- two artists’ representations of autumn landscapes. The first is a 19th century depiction of the Starrucca Valley, located in Pennsylvania near Lanesboro. One of the few prints produced after a painting by Hudson River School artist Jasper Cropsey, this image was printed exclusively for members of the Crosby Opera House Art Association. We’ve paired it with a hand-colored transfer print and collage by contemporary printmaker Takayo Noda. We hope you enjoy these colorful celebrations of Fall!

Image on the top: American Autumn, Starucca Valley, Erie R. Road. By Jasper Cropsey. Published by T. Sinclair’s Chromo Lith., Philadelphia. Lithographed by William Dresser. Chromolithograph, undated, c. 1870s. Image size 15 1/2 x 26 5/8″ (394 x 677 mm). LINK.

Image on the bottom : Autumn Day. By Takayo Noda. Transfer print, hand-colored, 2013. Three dimensional collage in areas. Signed, titled and inscribed “1/1.” Image size 6 7/8 x 9 5/8″ (175 x 243 mm). LINK.

American Autumn, Starucca Valley, Erie R. Road. LINK.

American Autumn, Starucca Valley, Erie R. Road. LINK.

Autumn Day. LINK.

Autumn Day. LINK.


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.