Margaret Jordan Patterson American (born Java), 1867–1950 Heartsease, c. 1920s Color woodcut 2017.71.1

Color Woodcuts in the Arts and Crafts Era

September 14, 2019 - March 22, 2020
Gallery 315 and 316
Free Exhibition

Color woodcuts enjoyed a revival during the Arts and Crafts movement, whose leaders believed that one antidote to rampant mechanization was a return to handcraft. Artists in the early 20th century thus began carving, inking, and printing each impression by hand. Though demanding, this highly personal process revealed the direct interaction between artists and their materials.

This directness is one of the pleasures of the 80 or so color woodcuts in this exhibition. Most were recently acquired by Mia, and most come from the United States, Britain, and German-speaking countries. A remarkable number—nearly half—are by women. Many works also reveal an interest in the tenets of Japanese design. The delights include Margaret Patterson’s bouquets, Pedro de Lemos’s windblown trees, Frances Gearhart’s paeans to the California coast, Eliza Draper Gardiner’s childhood scenes, and Frank Morley Fletcher’s romantic landscapes.