Published: November 13, 2007
After 22 years of research and writing, Rona Schneider has announced the publication of Stephen Parrish / The Etchings: A Catalogue Raisonné . The publication date is November 2007.
The 192-page, fully illustrated catalog lists and details all of Parrish’s 153 etchings, which were created during the period from 1879 to 1890. The book also provides a comprehensive chronological biography, with an emphasis on Parrish’s life as a working “painter-etcher.” The book is printed in the United States on archival paper.
The book is being published by The Old Print Shop of New York City, which was founded in 1898 and is making its debut as a publisher. “We are proud to be associated with this major scholarly achievement in the print world,” noted Robert K. Newman, president of The Old Print Shop. He added, “The book is a beautiful thing to look at and fills an important need for print collectors and art historians. It also contributes to a wider understanding of the role of American printmakers in the late Nineteenth Century.”
The foreword to the book was written by art historian William H. Gerdts, professor emeritus of the Graduate School of the City University of New York. While noting Parrish’s exceptional role in American art, he points out that the artist’s achievements were “overshadowed by the reputation of his still-more famous son, the painter and muralist Maxfield Parrish.” But, he goes on to praise Stephen Parrish as an etcher who “remains one of the finest of all Nineteenth Century American artists,” adding that no other American “working primarily in the etching medium&urpassed Stephen Parrish in the handling of the medium and the beauty of his creations.”
Gerdts’ high appreciation for the etchings of Parrish was echoed earlier this year at the Baltimore Museum of Art when Jay Fisher, deputy director for curatorial affairs and senior curator of prints, spoke admiringly about Parrish during a talk on prints. The occasion was the annual meeting of the American Historical Print Collectors Society.
Fisher’s talk, which covered the museum’s collection of historical prints as well as its outstanding collection of American fine art prints, singled out the work of Stephen Parrish for especially high praise. He described the artist as having set a new technical standard for American etching. Parrish was a Philadelphia artist, and 50 of his etchings came to the Baltimore Museum from the late-Nineteenth Century Claghorn collection, which was later merged with the voluminous Garrett collection.
Among the group of prints Fisher discussed was “A Gloucester Wharf,” now cataloged as S. 118. The new catalogue raisonné notes that it was one of only three prints by Parrish done entirely in drypoint and the image on the copper plate required 13 days to make. Among other intriguing details, the catalog explains that the advertising sign for “Oil, Sounds & Livers” that appears on the side of a building in the etching refers to fish bladders (sounds) that were ground up for the making of isinglass.
The book, which retails for $175, may be ordered directly from The Old Print Shop, 150 Lexington Avenue, New York NY 10016; 718-875-5100. Dealer discounts and institutional discounts will be available. Inquiries may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org .
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