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Reece Museum to display early 20th century prints by Henry Wolf

Henry Wolf print

JOHNSON CITY (Aug. 7, 2013) – “The Women of Henry Wolf: A Retrospective,” a collection of prints by wood engraver Henry Wolf, will open Tuesday, Aug. 13, at the Reece Museum at East Tennessee State University and continue through Dec. 24.

This exhibit of 21 prints from the Reece Museum’s collection of over 200 Wolf prints is curated by Theresa Hammons, museum director, and ETSU student Michael Hale, who is pursuing a bachelor of fine arts degree.

“Wolf’s prints exhibit unparalleled artistry,” Hammons said.  “All of his prints are so beautiful that it was difficult to choose which images to exhibit.”  She and Hale decided to focus on the female subjects in Wolf’s work, because they are “some of the most striking and haunting images in the Wolf collection.”

Henry Wolf was born in France in 1852.  He studied with J. Levy in Strasbourg and came in 1871 to New York, where he became the premier wood engraver working in America until his death in 1916.

Wolf is known primarily for copying the “greats” for publication in such literary publications as “Century Magazine,” “Harper’s Monthly” and “Scribner’s Magazine.”  The artist Jean Leon Gerome once remarked that Wolf’s engravings of his paintings were beautiful, and went on to say, “Mr. Wolf knew better than my brushes what I wanted to do.”

Wolf began publishing original works in 1896 for “Evening Star Magazine.”  He won the only Grand Prize in printmaking at the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, where he exhibited 144 wood engravings.

In 1975, the Reece Museum received the donation of Wolf prints from Dr. Christopher and Janet Gafe and Dr. Frederick P. and Rebecca Nause, who collectively acquired the works from The Lakeside Studio in Lakeside, Mich.

The Reece Museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Thursdays from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.  Admission is free, and parking passes are available for weekday visitors.  Group tours are also available.

For more information, to arrange a group tour, or for special assistance for those with disabilities, contact the Reece Museum at (423) 439-4392.