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American Block Prints, 09th Annual [Print Club of Philadelphia]

DATES April 10, 1935 through May 12, 1935
ORGANIZING DEPARTMENT American Art
COLLECTIONS American Art
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  • April 11, 1935 Picturesque landscape predominate in the majority of prints shown in the Ninth Annual Exhibition of American Block Prints which opened yesterday at the Brooklyn Museum, but many prints were assembled by the Print Club of Philadelphia and are important as representing a competent selection of the best recent work in a popular medium capable of modern force.

    Several color prints demonstrate the present mastery of the art. Elaine Meyers Rader’s “Town Bridge, Prague” is a vital performance, bright colors discriminatingly placed on a tawny background. E. Sophonisba Hergesheimer’s “Acrorns,” which received honorable mention, is an especially felicitous use of the medium and an effective piece of wall decoration. Margaret Julie Nelson’s “Fruit and Stripes” is a gay and knowing still life using vivid colors crossing planes of light. Andrew G. Aldrin’s “Bouque” is another distinctly stylish still life marking more use of line for its own sake in a delicate pattern subdued in color. Howard Heath’s “Fall Flowers” is another demonstration of the competence of the medium for still life. His “Dawn” in black and white is a notable allegory, In the best black and white prints shown one is conscious of much interest and life in the great variety of treatments of the medium and much ingenuity in the devising or selection of subjects. Asa Cheffetz has been awarded the Mildred Boericke Prize for “Fish Pier,” a scene of old schooners at a wharf, with reflections handled in a decorative watery style. Paul Landaere’s “Storm,” an Honorable Mention, retains reality in abstraction and fuses a pronounced feeling for medium, style and subject. Benjamin Miller’s “Icarus” is effective decoration, a black nude figure with wings, falling head downward. Thomas W. Nason’s Landscape with Sheep’ is a wood engraving of masterly quality. His “Solitude” is a miniature, less effective, through equally competent. Charles W. Smith’s “Gambel’s Hill” presents a typical corner of old frame building on a hill with sympathy and interest, though the lighting is somewhat melodramatic for the subject.

    Isaac Friedlander’s “Self Portrait” is sincere, competent, real decorative, strong and rhythmic, individual in style and superior in quality. It might easily be selected as the best print in the collection. Ernest A. Pickup makes a simple decorative pattern of a man reading in bed. The title is “Shadows.” John Francis Hart in “Dusk and Dust,” a study of a man driving steers down a road, places the dark animals against a light cloud of dust, does it convincingly and effectively. Wuanita Smith in “Tropical Night” presents a delicate rhythmical white-line study of a small orchestra. It might be Spanish of Mexican or Gypsy, but it is real and has a feeling for the popular music of the day.

    Josephine Vermilye makes a large decorative study cut of “Seed Pods-Eucalyptus”, which is sensitive to the possibilities of the medium. Jan M. Cmielewski’s “Garden of the Gods” is an especially effective design based on authentic western subject matter. Donald Streeter makes an extremely decorative study of “Cat Feeding.”

    Other prints notable for handling or subject matter are: M. J. Gallagher’s “Design,” Charles Tursak’s “Snow Storm,” Russell Hogeland’s “Poof,” Ilse Bischoff’s “HarlemLedge,” Isaac Friedlander’s “Merry Go Round,” Hovson Pitman’s “Graveyard at Night,” Glenn Wheete’s “Fingers of Stone, New Mexico,’ Fred Geary’s “Old Stage Station” and “Birthplace of Jesse James,” John Francis Hart’s “Smile in the Dark,” Rockwell Kent’s “Drifter,” David Becker’s “Song Without Words,” Helen West Heller’s “Reforestation” and “Cotton Picking,” and William S. Rice’s “Forest Primeval.”

    This exhibition will close May 12.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1931 - 1936. 04-06_1935, 051-2.
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