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Paul Landacre
(Columbus, Ohio, 1893 - 1963)

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Paul Landacre has come to be recognized as one of the preeminent printmakers of the 20th century. Landacre studied entomology at Ohio State University and had aspirations of becoming an Olympic middle-distance runner. Unfortunately, his dreams were dashed in college when he became afflicted with streptococcus that left him crippled for life. In 1916, at the age of twenty-three, and one year after his illness struck, he moved to Southern California to recuperate. He discovered that he had a talent for drawing, and soon thereafter took work as an artist for an advertising agency in San Diego.

By the mid 20s, Landacre had become disenchanted with producing commercial art, and only through the support of his devoted wife Margaret was he able to leave the agency and dedicate his time to creating his art. Having experimented with other media throughout the years prior, he eventually applied himself full-time to learning printmaking. Being entirely self-taught, Landacre later recounted in 1941, the difficulties he had at the beginning of his career, "At that time, much less wood engraving was being done and there was no one in this vicinity to advise me. It was also difficult to find any books on the subject, which necessitated my digging it out for myself."

He continued to study and learn from the works of master printmakers throughout his life. Landacre became enamoured with the challenge that printmaking offered, and wood engraving became his medium of choice. Best known for his views of the California landscape, he mastered the nuances of working only in black and white. Not only do his works show technical command of the engraving and printing processes, but his images also show a sensitivity and originality in the depiction of his subjects. It was through the support of Los Angeles-based book and print dealer, Jake Zeitlin, that Landacre was able to show his early works, and also see works of other printmakers. He also gained commissions to work on book illustrations, and, in 1931, published "California Hills", a series of masterful California landscapes.


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Laguna Cove

Late 19th and early 20th century American art with an emphasis on the 1930s since 1977
international fine print dealers association