This blog is a record of my adventures as a copper plate etcher and printmaker. I'm a self-taught amateur learning from the ground up.
"I will again define etching as an impression set down on a copper plate from nature or life -- not a built up, elaborated composition."
Joseph Pennell

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Finis Origine Pendet

Bertha C. Jacques co-founded the Chicago Society of Etchers in 1910 and helped launch a revival of American fine art printmaking that included hundreds of female artists. Many printmaking programs and art societies sprang up as a result.

I like the photo above. The young woman is obviously determined to produce a print. Not only is she exerting herself physically but she has made the effort to establish at least a rudimentary studio space in the corner of her room. From the style of her hair and dress I'm guessing the photo dates from the 1920's or 30's. If the latter she is perhaps one of the many women and men taking advantage of the New Deal's WPA art programs, many of which were home-grown operations. The room and furnishings seem to confirm a humble situation in life as much as her clothing and lack of high style. In spite of these things, or perhaps because of them, she is pursuing something beyond the drudgery of day to day existence in order to speak in way available only to those who try.

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