Gustave Baumann Woodblock
Original GUSTAVE BAUMANN Wood Block for his woodblock print " Harvest Time, Taos ". This historic block is a one of a kind item in excellent condition. It measures 10" x 11 1/2" x 3/4" and we have had it hung in our home as a work of art in its own right. On the right edge of the block "128", "29" and "43" are written, and on the other edge, "128" is written twice. The writing on the back of the block is pictured below.
PROVENANCE on this work is direct purchase from the well-known Los Angeles art dealer Marilyn Pink.
Gustave Baumann was born in Germany in 1881. His family immigrated to the United States in 1891, settling in Chicago. By the age of 17, Baumann was working for a commercial engraving house while attending night classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Upon going back to Germany in 1905, Baumann enrolled in the Kunstgewerbe Schule in Munich where he studied wood carving and mastered the European technique of color wood block prints. After only a year in Munich, Baumann resettled in Chicago, supporting himself in the commercial art field while searching for a place to inspire his fine art. In 1910, Brown County, Indiana offered him such a place. A Small town surounded by hills, valleys and people of Nashville became his subjects. He produced a portfolio of color woodcuts entitled In the Hills of Brown and five large format color woodcuts. His largest woodcut, "The Mill Pond", measuring 25 x 33", is the largest color woodcut produced at the time. These were shown at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco where Baumann won the gold medal for printmaking. His color woodcuts had already been included in the 1911 Paris Salon and numerous exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago and the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis where his first solo exhibition was held in 1913. In 1916, he organized the first national exhibition of color woodcuts by American artists at the Art Institute of Chicago. Baumann viewed art as "a kind of tyrant. It pushes you around. It came to me dressed up in wanderlust." This wanderlust pushed him to Wyoming, New York; New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts. Numerous Chicago artists including Walter Ufer, Victor Higgins and Martin Hennings effusively praised Taos as an artistic paradise and wanderlust reared again. In 1918, Baumann headed West. Taos proved too small a village so he moved south to Santa Fe. The Fine Art Museum had opened the previous year and its open door policy for artists appealed to Baumann. He eventually built himself a home on Camino de las Animas, married Jane Devereux Henderson and lived in Santa Fe until his death in 1971. Baumann's interest wasn't just limited to color woodcut. He produced oils and sculpture, created over sixty marionettes which provided the community with annual Christmas shows and wrote and illustrated "Frijoles Canyon Pictographs" in 1939, which was honored with the Fifty Books of the Year Award. Today his genius and individuality are recognized and he is considered to be an American master of color woodblock print. Exhibitions of his woodcuts have been viewed across the country and they are included in almost every major museum in the United States. Two of his color woodcuts are included in the current exhibition "Made in California: Art, Image and Identity 1900-2000 "at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Further information on Gustave Baumann can be obtained by reading Gustave Baumann: Nearer to Art by Martin Krause and David Acton and Hand of a Craftsman: The Woodcut Technique of Gustave Baumann by David Acton. SOME OF THIS IMFORMATION CAME FROM LALA CHAMBERLAIN AND THE WONDERFUL FOLKS AT THE ANEX GALLERY.