American Prints 1880–1950
In the United States, 1880 to 1950 was a dynamic period of printmaking. By the end of the 19th century, lithography gained popularity among artists including George Bellows, Grant Wood, and Thomas Hart Benton. Beginning in the 1860s and persisting well into the 1930s, many artists, including James Abbbott McNeill Whistler, Mary Nimmo Moran, Thomas Moran, Julian Alden Weir, Joseph Pennell, and Edward Hopper embraced the more hand-made techniques of etching as an antidote to the associations of lithography with industry and mass production. Although not as widely practiced, artists such as Arthur Wesley Dow and Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt experimented with woodcut techniques, inspired by the influx of Japanese color woodblock prints imported to the United States. Japanese-American artist Chiura Obata’s “World Landscape Series: America” (1930) employed traditional woodcut techniques to render modernist takes on iconic California landscapes.