WPA Jewish Artist Alex R. Stavenitz Pencil Signed Etching of Talmudist Scholar 1930


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Title: The Talmudist
Artist: Alexander R. Stavenitz - (1901-1960) - Russian born American artist
Technique: Original Soft Ground Etching
Signature: Signed, titled, numbered, and dated in pencil by the artist. Also with an inscription.
Date Published: 1930
Edition: From a small Limited Edition of 40.
Dimensions: Sheet size - 7-1/2 x 11-1/4 inches, Image size - 6 x 9 inches
Condition: Excellent Condition without any flaws. This print has never been matted or framed.
References: This print is in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Printing: A strong impression printed in black ink on white wove paper by the artist.
Presentation: Unmatted and unframed. Blank on the back, not laid down. Ships in a plastic archival sleeve.
Description: Alex R. Stavenitz was a prominent artist in New York during the 1930s. He was employed by the Works Progress Administration, but this etching of a Talmudist was not done for the WPA.

Stavenitz was Jewish, and this is a very unique portrait of a scholar who would have been well versed in the ancient scriptures. The etching has both ancient and contemporary qualities with the portrait resembling an old stylized sculpture.

Collectors have increasingly become more interested in the WPA era prints from the 1930s. They are an important part of the history of American art in the 20th century.

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Alexander Raoul Stavenitz was an American Jewish artist who was born in Russia but lived and worked most of his life in the U.S. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and later attended the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York from 1928-1931.

Stavenitz was a member of several etching groups and exhibited extensively in the 1930s. His works were included in 50 Prints of the Year and the book America Today 100 Prints. His original print "Chartreuse" was chosen for the first edition of the Colophon book journal published in 1930.

In 1931 Stavenitz was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for creative work in etching that allowed him to travel abroad.

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