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Color Woodblock Prints

November 2, 2008 - January 4, 2009


The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is presenting two exhibitions through January 4, 2009: Color Woodblock Prints and Works on Paper by Henry McBride.

Color Woodblock Prints is an exhibition of 73 color woodblock prints created in the early decades of the 20th century. A dozen artists, including Americans Gustave Baumann, Arthur Wesley Dow, Frances Gearhart, Edna Boies Hopkins and Margaret Jordan Patterson, as well as F. Morley Fletcher of England and Austrian Secessionist Max Kurzweil, will be represented by 73 prints and two books. The medium, inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e prints allowed the artists to expand their creativity with color theory, composition and technique. (right: Walter J. Phillips (born England, Canadian, 1884-1963), The Angler, 1926, Color woodblock print, 5 x 3 _ inches.)

Susan J. Montgomery, an independent decorative arts scholar holds a doctorate in American and New England Studies from Boston University. Montgomery, guest curator of The American Arts & Crafts Home 1900-1915 exhibition hosted at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in 2006 will be the guest curator for Color Woodblock Prints.

The Two Red Roses Foundation is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to promoting the American Arts & Crafts movement, an effort to reform the design and production of furniture, ceramics, metalwork and other decorative arts in the early 1900s. Color Woodblock Prints: Selections from the Two Red Roses Foundation features works from this exhibition and will be available in the Museum Store.

Works on Paper by Henry McBride is an exhibition on loan from the Henry McBride Foundation and includes 31 works on paper created by McBride in the late 19th century, and one work by Marcel Duchamp from McBride's personal collection of avant-garde art. The Henry McBride Foundation formed in 2001, honors noted American art spokesman Henry McBride (1867-1962), a premier spokesman of the modernist movement. Henry McBride, the Flow of Art is available in the Museum Store. Both exhibitions will close on January 4, 2009.


Wall text from Color Woodblock Prints

It should be notedthat this is not merely a new method of reproduction, but an independent art of self-expression.It aims to render complete pictorial impressions by methods which reveal new aesthetic quality. It is the work of the individual artist from start to finish....The artist is as free with his blocks as the painter with his palette.
- Ernest F. Fenollosa, Introduction to a Special Exhibition of Color Prints by Arthur W. Dow
The curator of Japanese art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, was introducing woodblock prints by Arthur Wesley Dow when he wrote these words in 1895, but his statements also heralded the transformation of the medium itself by the next generation of American and European artists. Inspired by Japanese prints, Dow championed the technique as an artist and a teacher, bringing a fresh new vision to an ancient art. His students and admirers experimented with the medium and found their own voices.
The color woodblock prints in this exhibition, on loan from the collection of the Two Red Roses Foundation, represent a broad range of artists' styles and sensibilities, backgrounds and educations. Their choices of paper, pigment and printing techniques differ, sometimes radically. Yet each artist, in his or her own way, mastered a difficult medium to make a unique personal statement.
- Susan Montgomery, Guest Curator


(above: F. Morley Fletcher (born England, American, 1866-1949), Waterway, ca. 1905, Color woodblock print, 6 x 16 _inches.)


(above: Frances Hammell Gearhart (American, 1869-1958), Between Showers, 1920s, Color woodblock print, 7 x 9 _ inches.)


(above: Edna Boies Hopkins (American, 1872-1937), Datura, ca. 1909, Color woodblock print, 11 x 7 _ inches.)


(above: Eliza Draper Gardiner (American, 1871-1955), Little Yachtsman, ca. 1923, Color woodblock print, 6 _ x 9 _ iinches.)


(above: Margaret Jordan Patterson (American, 1867-1950), Summer Clouds, ca. 1918, Color woodblock print, 9 x 10 3/8 inches.)


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