Winter approximately 1934: The exhibition of Woodcuts from the collection of the Brooklyn Museum, now on display in the print gallery of that museum, like the exhibit of etchings shown there last month, centers about a group of prints in color.
Among the color prints are seven by Ernest W. Watson, three by R. Ruzicke, two by Herbert Gurshimer, and one each by Morley Ketcher, Gustave Baumann, Carl Olaf Petersen, Max Weber and H. K. Stabell.
Landscape predominates in subject, but there is a playful study of cats by Carl Fetersen and a nude by Weber that has some thing of the delightful quality of a Rajput miniature. Notable among the Woodcuts in black and white is a group of ten by Paul Gauguin. Fifty five prints in all give a representative survey of the work of American, British and Continental artists.
It is interesting to observe that where as in block and white the medium has led to several manners of expression distinctly peculiar to the woodblock, the effects in color lean heavily on the technical effects of painting in water color, guache and even oil.
The current exhibit of reproductions in color of famous paint¬ings, on display in the Library Gallery of the Brooklyn Museum, includes characteristic masterpieces of the 15th to 19th centuries. The 15th and 16th centuries are represented by Lorenzo di Credi, Hieronymus Bosch, Quentin Massys, Titian, Georgione, Holbein, Pieter Brueghel and El Greco. The 17th century group includes Rubensp Velasquez, Rembrandt and Vermeer, the 18th century Canaletto, Reynolds and Raeburn.
The 19th century is most generously represented by Turner, Courbet, Puvis de Chavannes, George Innesss Whistler, Cezanne, Renoir, Gauguin, Von Gogh and Matisse, of whom Gauguin and, Whistler, Cezanne and Matisse alone survived to witness the beginning of the 20th century. The collection illustrates the development of landscape and portrait but is intended primarily to show progress in fine color reproduction.
The quality of recent reproductions, illustrated for example in the several Van Goghs, gives at the normal distance from which one views painting the illusion of actual paint and canvas. There is no longer any reason why a person of limited means should be ashamed to hang a fine reproduction on his walls, nor any reason why inferior reproductions displayed in art shops innocent of art should ever be seen again.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1931 - 1936. 1934, 068-9.