Drypoint, Early 20th Century, Etching, Gallery Openings, Gallery Updates, Landscapes, Lithograph, Natural History, Prints

FEATHERED

Old Squaws #2. By Frank W. Benson. Etching, 1921. Ed 150. LINK.

Old Squaws #2. By Frank W. Benson. Etching, 1921. Ed 150. LINK.

The Old Print Gallery is pleased to announce its new winter show, FEATHERED, which will open on February 19th and run through April 9th, 2016. FEATHERED will celebrate the beauty, power, and reverence of winged animals, captured in prints. Artists have been forever fascinated by birds and their ability to gracefully navigate the open skies on stretched wings, suspended between earth, sky, and water, hopping from perch to perch. FEATHERED showcases the work of three celebrated natural history and ornithological printmakers from the 20th century- Frank W. Benson, H. Emerson Tuttle, and Stow Wengenroth. Each artist offers a unique, distinctive approach to depicting birds is in their prints, which makes for a varied and compelling grouping on the wall.

The prints of Frank W. Benson (1862-1951), nicknamed the father of sporting art, suggest the perspective of a naturalist and bird hunter. His close and watchful examination of a bird’s flight path and tendencies in the water offer a firsthand record of nature, gleaned not from dead models in a studio, but from a close familiarity of birds in the wild. Captured in Benson’s spare compositions and delicate line work, their vital essence is expressed in the way the birds move through their environment- sunlight and shadows hitting their winged bodies in flight, ripples in water as ducks float through still marshes, traces of a whole flock of birds dotting the horizon.

Aquiline Eagle (Eagle Head). H. Emerson Tuttle. Drypoint, 1937. Ed. 45. LINK.

Aquiline Eagle (Eagle Head). H. Emerson Tuttle. Drypoint, 1937. Ed. 45. LINK.

H. Emerson Tuttle (1890-1946), devoted much of his career to drawing and etching prints of birds, both from life, and using stuffed specimens in his studio. Arresting and commanding, his prints take on the appearance of formal seated portraits. Intricate detail is given to the patterns of feathers, the cock of the head, and oftentimes, the direct gaze of the bird. Tuttle’s prints are unswerving and full of personality- his birds take center stage and are only sometimes supported by a background. Tuttle captures their beauty and dynamism with his drypoint needle, imbuing his birds with almost human-like dispositions.

In contrast, Stow Wengenroth (1906-1978) is known for his landscapes, so his birds appear in their expected and rightful place, perched in mottled tree branches, exploring sand dunes, and in flight, weaving among shadows of trees. Birds play a principal part of his New England landscapes, adding movement and breathing life into his lithographic sceneries.

Breakwater. Stow Wengenroth. Lithograph, 1986. Ed. 50. LINK.

Breakwater. Stow Wengenroth. Lithograph, 1986. Ed. 50. LINK.

Standard
Drypoint, Early 20th Century, Etching, Prints, Sporting

Frank Benson on Light

The Guide. Frank W. Benson. Drypoint, 1920. Edition 150. Image size 6 7/8 x 10 7/8

The Guide. Frank W. Benson. Drypoint, 1920. Edition 150. Image size 6 7/8 x 10 7/8″ (173 x 273 mm). LINK.

“I follow the light, where it comes from, where it goes.” -Frank W. Benson (1862-1951)

Supper. Frank W. Benson. Etching, 1920. Edition 150. One known state. Image size 6 13/16 x 5 7/8

Supper. Frank W. Benson. Etching, 1920. Edition 150. One known state. Image size 6 13/16 x 5 7/8″ (173 x 124 mm). LINK.

Deer Hunter. Frank W. Benson. Etching, 1924. Edition 150. Image size  7 7/8 x 10 7/8

Deer Hunter. Frank W. Benson. Etching, 1924. Edition 150. Image size 7 7/8 x 10 7/8″ (200 x 278 mm). LINK.

Standard
Contemporary, Early 20th Century, Etching, Gallery Event, Gallery Opening Receptions, Gallery Openings, Gallery Updates, Prints

ETCHED

(Left) Lace. By Yvette Lucas. Solar plate etching, 2010. Edition 8.  (Right) Ecstatic Tree. By Yvette Lucas. Solar plate etching, 2010. Edition 8.

(Left) Lace. By Yvette Lucas. Solar plate etching, 2010. Edition 8.
(Right) Ecstatic Tree. By Yvette Lucas. Solar plate etching, 2010. Edition 8.

We are very excited to announce ETCHED, our upcoming OPG show of early 20th century and contemporary original etchings, which will open Friday, February 21, 2014. The gallery will host a nighttime reception that Friday, from 5-8pm, which is open and free to the public. The show will remain on view at the gallery until April 5, 2014, during normal gallery hours.

Etching as a form of printmaking evolved from metal workshops of the Middle Ages, where swords, armor, and tools were all etched with acid to produce intricate line and scroll work. Daniel Hopfer, a 16th century craftsman, applied these metalworking techniques to iron printmaking plates, and was the first to use etching as a form of printmaking. Many artists were soon lured by etching’s capacity to capture the essence and spontaneity of the artist’s hand in printed form.

Yellow Exit. By Robert Birmelin. Hand colored etching, 2006. A/P.

Yellow Exit. By Robert Birmelin. Hand colored etching, 2006. A/P.

ETCHED will celebrate the long legacy of printmakers who specialize in and focus on etching as a way of image making. As the show pulls from over a century of creative expression, viewers will be fascinated by the myriad of ways an artist can use an etched line to create tone, atmosphere, and detail. The show also highlights new technical advances in etching, including multi-plate color etchings and experimental solar plate etchings.

Highlights include meticulously etched architectural views by John Taylor Arms, two direct and intimate portraits by Isabel Bishop and Nicholas Vagenas, and  velvety and dense lines found in works by Peter Milton and Otto Kuhler.

Shadows of Venice. By John Taylor Arms. Etching, 1930. Ed. 100.

Shadows of Venice. By John Taylor Arms. Etching, 1930. Ed. 100.

Selected Artists: Sigmund Abeles, John Taylor Arms, Frank W. Benson, Robert Birmelin, Isabel Bishop, Richard Carleton, Arthur Cohen, Robert Cook, Joseph Essig, Takuji Kubo, Otto Kuhler, Yvette Lucas, Charles F. Mielatz, Peter Milton, Ellen Nathan Singer, Joseph Pennell, Susan Pyzow, Nicholas Vagenas, Hank Virgona, Bruce Waldman.

Construction Worker. By Nicholas Vagenas. Etching, 1968. Ed. 1/10.

Construction Worker. By Nicholas Vagenas. Etching, 1968. Ed. 1/10.

Standard
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.

3156

65857

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Standard