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.

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Drypoint, Early 20th Century, Lithograph, Prints

Peggy Bacon on Effort

Hard of Hearing. Peggy Bacon. Drypoint, 1933. Image size 7 1/2 x 10 7/8" (191 x 277 mm). LINK.

Hard of Hearing. Peggy Bacon. Drypoint, 1933. Image size 7 1/2 x 10 7/8″ (191 x 277 mm). LINK.

“Process work doesn’t appeal to me. That’s why I like drypoint and not just an etching. I’ve done only twenty-five bitten etchings in my life because I don’t care for all that business that goes on that gets between you and the work. I love drypoint and I think that actually it gives you the same wonderful satisfaction that carving in stone must give to a person. You’re really making something with great effort. And I think that effort is very important in the production of any work of art. If it’s too easy, if you’re just gliding around on a wax surface and then biting it in acid, it doesn’t give you that sensation of making something … That wonderful feeling that you have for the material and the real strength that you have to employ to get the line the right depth and richness and to do the cross-hatching so that the metal doesn’t break down but still you get a rich black. It gives you, oh, a great sensation.”- Peggy Bacon

Quote from: Oral history interview with Peggy Bacon, 1973 May 8, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. LINK.

The Soul of the Thrift. Peggy Bacon. Drypoint, 1941. Image size 9 7/8 x 7 inches. LINK.

The Soul of the Thrift. Peggy Bacon. Drypoint, 1941. Image size 9 7/8 x 7 inches. LINK.

Peanuts. Peggy Bacon. Lithograph, 1930. Image size 10 1/4 x 13 inches. LINK.

Peanuts. Peggy Bacon. Lithograph, 1930. Image size 10 1/4 x 13 inches. LINK.

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Early 20th Century, Figurative, Lithograph, Prints

Marion Greenwood on Painting What You Love

Untitled. [Young Girls]. Marion Greenwood. Lithograph, c.1940. Edition unknown. Image size 110 1/8 x 11 7/8 inches. LINK.

Untitled. [Young Girls]. Marion Greenwood. Lithograph, c.1940. Edition unknown. Image size 10 1/8 x 11 7/8 inches. LINK.

“It was the time when surrealism and all kinds of -isms were in the air, and I remember how I finally decided the only thing to do is to be yourself. One thing I always had was a terrific love for human beings and people, and so I just painted with that thought in mind and immediately became quite successful with my easel work.”- Marion Greenwood

Quote from Oral history interview with Marion Greenwood, 1964 Jan. 31, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. LINK.

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Drawing, Early 20th Century, Figurative, Prints, Sporting

Abe Blashko on Point of View

Market Vendors. Abe Blashko. Lithograph, 1940. Edition 53. Image size 19 3/4 x 12 3/8" (500 x 315 mm). LINK.

Market Vendors. Abe Blashko. Lithograph, 1940. Edition 53. Image size 19 3/4 x 12 3/8″ (500 x 315 mm). LINK.

“The turbulent social and political events of the 1930s were major contributors to my early development of a point of view. I was able to feel the pulse of that period and was fascinated with the faces and activities of the people around me, a fascination with their work, play, determination, strength, greed and evil.” Abe Blashko

Market. Abe Blashko. Graphite drawing with chalk highlights, 1937. Image size 13 1/2 x 20 3/4" (343 x 528 mm). LINK.

Market. Abe Blashko. Graphite drawing with chalk highlights, 1937.
Image size 13 1/2 x 20 3/4″ (343 x 528 mm). LINK.

The Pencil Vendor. Abe Blashko. Graphite drawing, 1937. Image size 22 3/4 x 13 3/8" (526 x 304 mm). LINK.

The Pencil Vendor. Abe Blashko. Graphite drawing, 1937. Image size 22 3/4 x 13 3/8″ (526 x 304 mm). LINK.

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Charcoal, Early 20th Century, Landscapes, Lithograph, Portraits, Prints

Albert W. Barker (1874-1947)

Clouds. Albert W. Barker. Charcoal drawing, 1920. Image size 9 7/8 x 13 15/16" (252 x 355 mm). LINK.

Clouds. Albert W. Barker. Charcoal drawing, 1920. Image size 9 7/8 x 13 15/16″ (252 x 355 mm). LINK.

Today we are exploring the work of artist Albert W. Barker (1874-1947). A resident of Rose Valley, Barker’s scenes depict the farmlands of southeastern Pennsylvania through loss of farmland, early industrialization, and the Great Depression.

Barker was born on June 1, 1874 in Chicago.  In 1890, Barker began classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied charcoal drawings, as well as met his future wife Bess Morot. From 1903 to 1913 he taught at the School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia, before returning to study at the University of Pennsylvania. A lover of the classics and archaeology, in 1921, Barker received his Ph. D in Greek archaeology.

Barker’s first attempt at printmaking was etching, but he was unsatisfied with both the manner of image creation and his results. In 1926, Barker began collecting nineteenth century French lithographs; an infatuation with the medium quickly prompted him to try his hand at creating his own lithographs.  He studied with Bolton Brown, the master lithographer of the day, learning the subtleties of drawing on limestone and printing his own editions. He advanced quickly, and was soon writing essays and articles on the lithographic technique. In 1930, he published “Lithography for Artists.”

Barker’s early charcoals and lithographs are predominantly landscapes, sometimes dotted with barns or early farm equipment. By the mid-1930s, his prints include portraits of the farmers and workers of the land he loved so much. Not limited by his stark black and white palate, Barker instead filled his prints with atmosphere. The clouds reach and fill the outer limits of the print’s image, and with subtle gradation, his grassy hills stretch out in an unyielding expanse. Printing in a sort of monochromatic realism, his farm scenes show the strenuous, yet quiet life of his neighboring farmers. Barker’s prints are a tribute to the beauty of the Pennsylvanian landscape and the family farm in a time when he saw both slipping away, threatened by industrialization and the financial choke hold of the Depression.

Click here to see all available lithographs and original charcoals by Barker, currently in our gallery inventory.

Landscape (untitled).  Albert W. Barker. Charcoal drawing, 1905. Image size 13 7/8 x 9 1/2" (353 x 243 mm). LINK.

Landscape (untitled). Albert W. Barker. Charcoal drawing, 1905. Image size 13 7/8 x 9 1/2″ (353 x 243 mm). LINK.

Catskill Mountains, Nightfall. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, c.1928. Image size 10 15/16 x 7 3/4" (278 x 197 mm). Edition 51. LINK.

Catskill Mountains, Nightfall. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, c.1928. Image size 10 15/16 x 7 3/4″ (278 x 197 mm). Edition 51. LINK.

The Upper Meadow. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1929. Image size 7 13/16 x 11" (199 x 278 mm). Edition 76. LINK.

The Upper Meadow. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1929. Image size 7 13/16 x 11″ (199 x 278 mm). Edition 76. LINK.

Young Maples.  Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, c.1929. Image size 10 13/16 x 7 3/8" (275 x 182 mm). Edition 50. LINK.

Young Maples. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, c.1929. Image size 10 13/16 x 7 3/8″ (275 x 182 mm). Edition 50. LINK.

The Stone Crusher. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1930. Image size 7 x 5" (177 x 127 mm). Edition 50. LINK.

The Stone Crusher. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1930. Image size 7 x 5″ (177 x 127 mm). Edition 50. LINK.

The Barn. Albert W.  Barker. Lithograph, 1930.  Image size 8 x 7 3/16" (203 x 182 mm). Edition 35. LINK.

The Barn. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1930. Image size 8 x 7 3/16″ (203 x 182 mm). Edition 35. LINK.

The Outlying Farm. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1930. Image size 4 3/4 x 6 7/8" (120 x 144 mm). Edition 100. LINK.

The Outlying Farm. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1930. Image size 4 3/4 x 6 7/8″ (120 x 144 mm). Edition 100. LINK.

The Sheep-house. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1931. Image size 9 13/16 x 6 9/16" (250 x 167 mm). Edition 35. Inscribed in stone lower right indistinctly "A. W. B." LINK.

The Sheep-house. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1931. Image size 9 13/16 x 6 9/16″ (250 x 167 mm). Edition 35. Inscribed in stone lower right indistinctly “A. W. B.” LINK.

Stony Pasture. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1931. Image size 11 x 7 7/8" (279 x 199 mm). Edition 35. LINK.

Stony Pasture. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1931. Image size 11 x 7 7/8″ (279 x 199 mm). Edition 35. LINK.

The Shop. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1931. Image size 9 3/4 x 8 11/16" (247 x 220 mm). Edition 30. LINK.

The Shop. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1931. Image size 9 3/4 x 8 11/16″ (247 x 220 mm). Edition 30. LINK.

Churning.  2nd Stone. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1932. Image size 13 7/16 x 10 7/16" (341 x 265 mm). Edition 40. Inscribed in stone lower right "A.W.B. 1932." LINK.

Churning. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1932. Image size 13 7/16 x 10 7/16″ (341 x 265 mm). Edition 40. Inscribed in stone lower right “A.W.B. 1932.” LINK.

In the Day's Work.  Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, c.1934. Image size 8 1/8 x 6" (206 x 152 mm). Edition 59. Printed on chine colle. LINK.

In the Day’s Work. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, c.1934. Image size 8 1/8 x 6″ (206 x 152 mm). Edition 59. Printed on chine colle. LINK.

Stubble Fire. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1935. Image size 8 9/16 x 11 1/16" (217 x 293 mm). Edition 32. Printed on chine colle. LINK.

Stubble Fire. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1935. Image size 8 9/16 x 11 1/16″ (217 x 293 mm). Edition 32. Printed on chine colle. LINK.

Tenant House.  Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1937. Image size 4 5/16 x 6" (110 x 152 mm). Edition 50.  Printed on chine colle. LINK.

Tenant House. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, 1937. Image size 4 5/16 x 6″ (110 x 152 mm). Edition 50. Printed on chine colle. LINK.

The Enchanted Meadow. Albert W. Barker.  Lithograph, date unknown. Image size 6 3/4 x 9 13/16" (172 x 250 mm). Edition 70. Some impressions printed in sepia ink. LINK.

The Enchanted Meadow. Albert W. Barker. Lithograph, date unknown. Image size 6 3/4 x 9 13/16″ (172 x 250 mm). Edition 70. Some impressions printed in sepia ink. LINK.

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