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Architecture and Industry: A Collection of Etchings and Lithographs by Joseph Pennell
Joseph Pennell was an early 20th century printmaker, illustrator, writer and teacher, and a central figure in the American Painter-Etcher Movement. Although well known for his cityscapes and architectural views, Pennell was also one of the first artists to create images of the factories and industrial complex that was so rapidly expanding in the early 20th century. In addition to his work as an artist, Pennell was a leading advocate for printmaking as a true means of artistic expression, equal to drawing and painting, yet as it’s own distinct medium. Born in 1857 in Pennsylvania, Pennell studied at the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1880 he opened a studio in Philadelphia and worked on illustration projects for various publications. Three years later he traveled to Italy on a project for Century Magazine, etching images of Tuscan cities and architecture. After traveling throughout Europe, Pennell opened a studio and settled in London where he lived and worked for over 20 years, creating many etchings and lithographs of the European countryside and architecture. While in London, Pennell met fellow ex-patriot James Abbott McNeill Whistler and the two artists worked closely together for several years. Whistler’s influence is evident in many of Pennell’s compositions and his sense of experimentation with etching and lithography technique. Both artists often eliminated borders, used a tab signature and printed their etchings on antique laid papers. In 1908 Joseph Pennell and his wife, writer Elizabeth Robins Pennell wrote the official biography of Whistler. In 1912 Pennell spent three months in Panama, documenting the unprecedented construction of the Panama Canal with a series of 30 lithographs and an accompanying book, “Joseph Pennell’s Pictures of the Panama Canal”. Several years later, he returned to the United States, where he taught at the Art Students League in New York, and was one of the founding members of the Philadelphia Print Club. Around this time Pennell and his wife donated their entire collection of prints to the Library of Congress, and made the Library the primary beneficiary of their estate with the clear instruction to create a national collection of modern American printmaking. Joseph Pennell was a highly regarded artist in his lifetime and won many prestigious awards for his work, as well as being an accomplished author and advocate for the arts. Through his efforts to promote printmaking in general and the work of Whistler in particular, he succeeded in bringing the excitement and innovation of the British Etching Revival to the United States.
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Caissons on Vesey Street
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size 14 x 9 1/2 inches, edition of 75, 1921, cat: Wuerth- 854, pencil signed. A beautiful, very richly inked impression. In this remarkable image, Pennell uses delicate lines and rich contrast to create a dramatic scene of construction in New York City. This was Pennell's last recorded etching.

The Temple of Jupiter, Evening
1857-1926, American

A truly remarkable original lithograph by Joseph Pennell, this image measures 21 1/8 x 16 5/8 inches, published in 1913 in a very small edition of 50, pencil signed, from Pennell's series of lithographs created in his travels through Italy and Greece. Printed on a cream colored laid type paper with the watermark "Ingres PMF Italia". In his book "In the Land of Temples", Pennell writes of this image, "Night was falling as I was coming back from drawing by the river Ilissos.

Sunset, from Williamsburg Bridge
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size 8 7/16 x 10 7/8 in, 1915, pencil signed

Standard Oil Building
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size 12 1/4 x 9 1/4 in, 1923, signed and inscribed "JoPennell imp" in pencil, edition of about 50 (Wuerth, 817)

Eleusis: The Pavement of the Temple
1857-1926, American

This is a gorgeous original lithograph of ancient Greek ruins by Joseph Pennell, from his series "In the Land of Temples", based on his travels through Greece and Italy. The image size is 16 1/2 x 21 3/4 inches, published in 1913 in a very small edition of 50, printed on a watermarked wove type paper, pencil signed. In his book "In the Land of Temples", Pennell writes of this print "Swept away is everything, mysteries and all— all that remains is the great pavement on which stand the stumps of columns; yet I doubt if it was finer ever.

New York, From Brooklyn Bridge
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size 11 x 8 3/8 in, 1908, signed and inscribed "JoPennell imp" in pencil, edition of about 150 (Wuerth, 490)

Hudson Avenue Foundations
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size 8 13/16 x 11 7/8 inches, Wuerth 807, printed on Arches wove paper, plate signed "JPennell 1923" pencil signed "J Pennell" l.c., private plate, etched for the Brooklyn Edison Co.

St. Paul's, New York
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size: 11 x 8 1/2 inches, 1915, cat. Wuerth-678, pencil signed lower right

Tracks, Oberhausen
1857-1926, American

This is a fantastic scene of the railroad tracks and surrounding industrial buildings in Oberhausen, Germany by American artist Joseph Pennell. Etching, image size 9 3/8 x 12 1/2 inches, published in 1910 in an edition of 50 impressions, cat: Wuerth- 606, pencil signed "J. Pennell imp", the 'imp' indicating that Pennell printed this impression himself. This etching is printed on an early antique watermarked laid type paper with trimmed margins and a tab signature, in the style of Whistler.

The Bridges, from Brooklyn
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size 9 7/8 x 6 7/8 inches, 1921, cat. Wuerth 782 and the cover, pencil signed.

Chelsea Church, unpublished Artist's Proof
1857-1926, American

Etching, Artist's Proof with numerous fingerprints left during printing, image size 8 3/8 x 10 3/4 inches, not included in the Wuerth catalogue, inscribed in the plate lower left "Chelsea Church," pencil signed

The Woolworth, Through the Arch
1857-1926, American

A great New York etching by Joseph Pennell, this etching measures 9 7/8 x 6 7/8 inches, published in 1921, cat: Wuerth-785, pencil signed "JoPennell imp", the "imp" indicating that Pennell printed this impression himself. In this image, Pennell uses a looser, almost impressionistic style which suggests the intricate details of the architecture and creates a strong sense of atmosphere and light.

Olympia
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size 10 3/8 x 18 1/8 inches, 1913, cat. Wuerth-655, pencil signed

Up to the Woolworth, (trial proof)
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size 11 3/4 x 7 3/8 inches, 1915, trial proof, edition of 75, pencil signed "J Pennell imp".

Great Cranes, South Kensington
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size: 8 3/4 x 11 inches, 1903, edition of about 50 (Wuerth 288), pencil signed and titled

Below Chesnut St. Bridge
1857-1926, American

This beautiful original etching by Joseph Pennell measures 11 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches. Created in 1884 and printed on lightweight Japan paper, it is pencil signed and #88 in the Wuerth catalog. Pennell was an important American etcher, lithographer and illustrator. Good friends with James McNeill Whistler, he and his wife co-authored his biography. Pennell was known for his continued experimentation with technique and style, producing cityscapes, landscapes and marine scenes. He also printed many of his own images.

Old and New Mills
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size 9 3/8 x 12 1/2 inches, 1910, edition of 50, cat: Wuerth-602, pencil signed and titled.

St. Clement Dames
1857-1926, American

This is a very rare early trial proof etching by Joseph Pennell, one of the foremost American etchers of the early 20th century. The plate size is 11 x 8 5/8 inches; the image itself measures 10 x 8 1/4 inches. It was created in 1906 and is pencil signed by both Pennell and Goulding, the printer. It is notated 'trial proof' in the lower right corner, the later published state of this image is #411 in the Wuerth catalog. As is typical of Pennell's prints, the margins are small, but adequate for proper presentation. This etching comes with original label from Frederick Keppel & Co, New York.

N. Y. From Orange St, Brooklyn
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size 9 7/8 x 7 inches, 1924, edition of 75, cat: Wuerth-847, as "Orange Street, Brooklyn," plate signed in reverse, titled in pencil at the bottom of the sheet, pencil signed.

The Thames at Richmond
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size 8 5/8 x 11 inches, pencil signed

The Foreign Office
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size: 10 7/8 x 8 3/8 inches, 1904, edition of probably 25, cat. Wuerth-297, pencil signed lower center.

Hampton Court Palace
1857-1926, American

Created in 1906, this original etching by Joseph Pennell measures 6 1/2 x 11 inches. It is pencil signed on the lower margin, is #396 in the Wuerth catalogue and was probably done in an edition of 75. A publishers label is included with this image. Pennell did over 800 etching during his lifetime. His works were influenced by Meryon and Whistler, whose first biographer he became along with his wife. Much of his style and etching technique reflects Whistler's. His prints had many themes, including monuments, cities, factories and for one documentary series, the Panama Canal.

Upper Fifth Ave, New York City
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size: 12 x 8 3/8 inches, 1904, edition of probably 50, cat. Wuerth-323, pencil signed lower center.

St. Dunstan's, Fleet Street
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size: 11 x 7 3/8 inches, 1903, ed. probably 50, cat. Wuerth-269, pencil signed lower left.

Flower Market and Butter Tower
1857-1926, American

This etching done in 1907 by Joseph Pennell measures 10 7/8 x 8 1/2 inches. It is pencil signed on the lower margin by the artist and is #463 in the Wuerth catalog. Known as an etcher, lithographer and illustrator, Pennell was also close friends with fellow artist James McNeill Whistler. He taught at the National Academy and the Art Students League of New York City.

Portland, Longport
1857-1926, American

Etching on fine laid paper, 1909, image size 8 1/2 x 11 inches, edition of about 40, cat. Wuerth- 546, pencil signed "JoPennell imp" l.r., "Five Towns" l.l.

Pineapple Street
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size: 9 7/8 x 6 7/8 inches, 1924, cat. Wuerth-837, edition of probably 75, pencil signed lower right

The Bridge at Alcantra, Toledo
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size 10 x 7 7/8 inches, cat. W-322, unsigned

The Ponte Vecchio
1857-1926, American

Etching, image size 9 1/2 x 7 3/4 inches, plate titled l.r. "The Ponte Vecchia 1882", plate signed "J Pennell 1883" u.l.,included in the Wuerth catalog #54.

Painting

Village Scene by the Shore
1885-1954, American

Watercolor and gouache, visible size 10 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches, signed lower right.

Pearce was born in Philadelphia but lived and worked in Manasquan, NJ, painting landscapes, interiors, figures and still-lifes. He studied under Chase and Weir.

Print

The Evangelist: Saint Mark
1565-1629, Dutch

Engraving, image size 7 1/16 x 5 1/2 inches, 1588, J W Randall collection #1010NA

Drawing

Portrait of Estelle
1893-1986, American

Silverpoint drawing, image size 9 x 12 inches, signed l.r. The subject of this portrait is the artist's wife Estelle, drawn Dec. 24, 1962.