Barbara Latham Cook Block Signed Print Woodcut Horses Fording the Stream 1936


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Fording the Stream by American artist Barbara Latham (1896-1989) is a fine vintage woodblock print published in 1936 in a Limited Edition of 200 by the American Artists Group (AAG).

The print is signed and dated in the block but not pencil signed. None of the AAG prints were hand signed.

Title: Fording the Stream
Artist: Barbara Latham - (1896-1989) - American artist
Technique: Original Woodcut
Signature: Signed and dated in the block, not pencil signed.
Date Published: 1936
Edition: Limited Edition of 200 for the American Artists Group. None of the AAG editions were hand signed.
Dimensions: Sheet size - 11 x 14 inches, Image size - 6 x 8-1/2 inches, Mat size - 11 x 14 inches.
Condition: Very Good condition. Without age toning, foxing, or tears. Trimmed margins.
References: In the Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art which shows it on their website; American Artists Group - 1936.
Printing: A strong impression printed in black ink on thin Japan print paper.
Presentation: Placed in a protective cream mat/folder. Blank on the back, not laid down. Ships in a plastic archival sleeve. Unframed.
Description: Fording the Stream is a fine example of the wood engravings of American artist Barbara Latham, the wife of well known woodcut artist Howard Cook. Three riders on horseback walk their horses across a small stream.

This is a nice composition that shows skillful use of contrast and texture. The trees in the top background are beautifully and elegantly drawn and carved. This is one of two works that Latham produced for the American Artists Group in the 1930s.

This original print was published by the American Artists Group (AAG) in a Limited Edition of about 200. AAG was started during the 1930s to help artists by publishing inexpensive, unsigned original prints. Many of America’s finest printmakers participated in the program. All of the prints were originals, but none of them were signed by hand.

The original mat/folders, which have often been separated from the prints, as in this case, had the following message on the back with the title of the print and a facsimile of the artist's signature:

"This print is an original woodcut made by me and printed with my approval and under my direction. It is in every respect the equivalent in quality of those prints issued by me in limited editions and sold at comparatively high prices. Its low price is made possible by the edition being neither pencil signed nor arbitrarily limited." –Barbara Latham

Barbara Latham studied at the Pratt Institute in New York City and after graduating in 1919, she spent several summers studying with modernist painter Andrew Dasburg ar the Art Students League Summer School. In her early career, Latham began designing Christmas cards for a publishing company in New York.

Latham arrived in Taos, New Mexico, just in time for the San Geronimo Feast Day at Taos Pueblo in 1925. Victor Higgins, an established Taos artist, introduced Latham to print maker Howard Cook, who had arrived in Taos in 1926. The two later married and settled in Taos for several months before their return to the East. Latham's career was profoundly affected by two fellowships that Howard Cook won from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1932 and 1934. The grants enabled her not only to explore new subject matter and techniques, but also to gather imagery that she later incorporated into color lithograph illustrations for children's books.

Latham also produced etchings, wood engravings, lithographs and linoleum cuts, as well as paintings in egg tempura, watercolor and oil. In 1934 Latham's work was exhibited in a one person show at the Weyhe Gallery in New York City, then the premier venue for printmakers in the United States.

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