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John Taylor Arms
From the Ponte Vecchio, Florence

1925

About the Item

Etching and aquatint on hand made F.J. Head & Co watermarked cream laid paper, full margins. Signed and dated in pencil, lower right margin. From the edition of 160 (from a total of 165 impressions). 1/4-inch edge loss at extreme sheet edge, lower right extreme sheet edge. Scattered light handling creases, minor uniform age tone. A beautiful, dark and inky impression of this large, extremely detailed image, with all the fine lines printing clearly. [Fletcher 159, ii] Arms, Hill Towns and Cities of Northern Italy, by Dorothy Noyes: p. 90 The Print Collector's Quarterly 21 (1934): p.130 __________ Born in 1887 in Washington DC, John Taylor Arms studied at Princeton University, and ultimately earned a degree in architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1912. With the outbreak of W.W.I, Arms served as an officer in the United States Navy, and it was during this time that he turned his focus to printmaking, having published his first etching in 1919. His first subjects were the Brooklyn Bridge, near the Navy Yard, and it was during his wartime travel that Arms created a series of extraordinarily detailed etchings based on gothic cathedrals and churches he visited in France and Italy (the plate for Guardians of the Spire was created in 1921). He used what was available to him, namely sewing needles and a magnifying glass, to create the incredibly rich and fine detail that his etchings are known for. Upon his return to New York after the war, Arms enjoyed a successful career as a graphic artist, created a series of etchings of American cities, and published Handbook of Print Making and Print Makers (Macmillan, 1934). He served as President of the Society of American Graphic Artists, and in 1933, was made a full member of the National Academy of Design. Arms died in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1953.
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