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A charming series of prints from Picturesque America. This two volume set was the most ambitious of the nineteenth century works illustrating scenes in the United States. These pictures provided some of the only images of distant parts of the United States that were available to much of the general public, especially of the western section of the country. Through their accurate and detailed representations they provide us too with a glimpse of nineteenth century California.
Steel engravings, ca. 5 1/8 x 8:
Beginning just before the middle of the nineteenth century, illustrated weekly newspapers made their appearance. These folio sized papers covered current events of national and international import, printed fiction and poetry by prominent authors, recounted gossip, described popular tourist sites, and generally were filled with stories on any subject that might be of interest to the reading public. The true source of the popularity of these newspapers, however, were the manifold wood engraved prints which graced almost every page of the issues. These pictures provide us today with one of the best sources for lively and informative images of the period. With photographs in a primitive stage, and no television, it is through these illustrations that the public got its visual information about the events, personalities and places of the time. Harper's Weekly was the most famous and popular of the American papers and during the 1890s a number of images of California appeared in it.
Single page images (ca. 15 x 10):
A rare example of a signed print from John Muir's important Picturesque California. This work was issued in part in response to the success of Picturesque America, which inspired San Francisco publisher James Dewing to do a similar work on California and nearby western areas. The full extent of the topic is indicated by the subtitle: The Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Slope. California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Etc. Illustrated with Etchings, Photogravures, Wood Engravings, Etc. With text edited by John Muir, Dewing gather images by a number of (as the title states) "Eminent American Artists." The work was intended to provide an overall picture of the Far West, both its natural and cultural wonders, produced primarily for a western audience. It was sold by subscription and included eight hundred images produced by a variety of printing methods. This image is from a rare edition with signed prints. There is an excellent article about the work and art by Sue Rainey, which can be accessed on-line in the April 2007 issue of Common-Place. $300
Go to page with more images from this series
Prints from Warren Cheyney's Yosemite Illustrated in Colors. San Francisco: H. S. Crocker, 1890. Approximately 9 1/2 x 7 (vignettes). Chromolithographs after watercolor and oil sketches by H.W. Hansen and Carll Dahlgren. Very good condition, except as noted.
First published in 1890, this beautiful book was the earliest coffee table books to illustrate the wonders of Yosemite. Its was issued as part of a promotion to establish Yosemite as a tourist destination and national park. It features twelve chromolithographs, each with a small poem by Harry Dix, after the paintings of H.W. Hansen and Carll Dahlgren.
H. W. Hansen (1854-1924) was born in Dithmarschen, Germany and studied painting until he emigrated to the United States in 1877. He settled in Chicago to study at the Art Institute. In 1882, he moved to San Francisco and over a period time he made several sketching expeditions to various parts of the West. In general, his paintings were very popular with collectors during the early 20th century and his work, at the time, was favorably compared to Remington.
Carll Dahlgren (1841-1920) was born in Denmark and studied at the Copenhagen Academy of Arts. In 1872, he and his brother immigrated to Salt Lake City. There he worked briefly as an artist- draftsman for the Surveyor General. Five years later he moved to San Francisco and became involved in the San Francisco Art Association. The majority of his work were landscapes but he did a series of street scenes of San Francisco following the earthquake of 1906. His work can be recognized by a shaft of sunlight which is often found in his images. Overall, a wonderful scenic views of the famous National Park.
Each priced at $175
By H.W. Hansen.
Luigi Kasimir. "Golden Gate - Calif." Colored etching. 11 x 11 3/4. Original pencil signature. Very good condition. Framed. Denver.
Luigi Kasimir (1881-1962) was an Austro-Hungarian artist who is best known for his colored etchings. This technique, in which Kasimir was a pioneer, used multiple plates to apply different colored inks to the paper. He painted mostly landscapes, of Europe and also of American scenes. This is a fine example of one of his American images, with his original signature. $550
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