American Woodblock Prints

During the 19th Century, woodcuts and wood engravings served as the primary media for reproductions in newspapers, magazines, and printed texts. Until the German Expressionists revitalized interest in the technique, most artist/printmakers had preferred to make etchings. Inspired by European avant-garde images, Japanese woodcut designs, and a modern re-interpretation of traditional uses for these media, American artists began to make woodcuts and wood engravings in increasing numbers. Continue Reading

An American in Venice: James McNeill Whistler and His Legacy

In 1879 American artist James McNeill Whistler arrived in Italy with a commission from the Fine Arts Society of London to create twelve etchings of Venice. Over the ensuing fourteen months the artist produced a body of prints that are among the most important of his career. The prints from Whistler’s Venice period are distinguished by the artist’s original approach to capturing the unique qualities of the canaled city and his innovative use of the etching process. His prints have arguably become the most studied prints in the history of art– after those of Rembrandt – and they had a significant influence on his followers.
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Above and Below: Skyscrapers to Subways in New York City, 1913-1949

New York City underwent an unprecedented urban transformation during the first half of the 20th Century. The development of the skyscraper had a huge impact on the evolution of Manhattan. The tall buildings were virtual self-contained cities offering a range of services and resources to those who worked in them. Concurrent with the building boom was the ongoing expansion of the city subway. The growth of the transit system created greater flexibility in the relationship between where people lived and worked. Continue Reading

PULLED, PRESSED AND SCREENED: Important American Prints

From the 1930s to the 1980s the printed image in American art went through profound changes.  Beginning with the black and white lithographs that were popularized by the regionalists and urban realists, and continuing through the experimental intaglio prints of the 1940s and 1950s, the ‘Pop’ explosion of screenprints in the 1960s, and the precision of super realism in the 1970s, printmaking has captured the imagination of countless American artists.
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