Monday, May 26, 2014

intersections with fred geary - karl marxhausen

      "What strikes me is the passion and consummate research you have, and have applied, to the history of Kansas City artists." Jim Westergard, wood engraver, Alberta, Canada

    "I watched the lecture last night and found it very informative and entertaining." Roland Sabates, Kansas City, MO

    "Hi Karl. You presented a great program. How lively the KC Art scene was during the depression. One hears of the Jazz scene but not the Arts. Geary's woodblock prints and his Harvey House art were both very "arts & crafts"----perfect for bungelows. I appreciated your thanking of sources. Too many researchers discount the librarian's help. After hearing your presentation, the excitement you showed when you had found or learned of a new piece of the puzzle during the research was more understandable. Thank you for including us.  It was fascinating."
Anitra Steele, Sugar Creek, MO

    "Impressed with the depth and breadth of your research. The importance of the burnishing process in print making. It was not enough to master the creation of the block, the artist had to maintain the concentration throughout the entire process to produce a high quality product." Charles Steele, Sugar Creek, MO

Karl Marxhausen of Carrollton gave this presentation April 18th, 2014 to the Nelson - Atkins Print Society. Robin Gross, program director, gave introduction remarks. Thanks to Chas Titus who did the video taping, and to Mark Titus who uploaded video to YouTube. Video is one hour in length. Double click on images to enlarge.

   "Marie Feller said the talk was wonderful!  She remembered a Fred Geary print from The Cellar that she felt would never sell, they hung it on the wall, and it was stolen, so someone wanted it!  Just a remembrance."

  "Truman and I agreed that you were anxious to/wanted to share what you had learned.  We learned that just because a collection is large, that does not mean those are the total of prints or artworks that were made by the artist.  There may be more, undiscovered works, out there.  We learned that Fred Geary taught himself the techniques of woodcuts.  We liked your comment that back in that day a person could get a decent job without having a college degree." Julia Ellen Parkins Murray, Kansas City

Ray Parkins was the father of Julia Murray) and classmate to Fred Geary. He and Geary were both art editors of the Carrollton High School Nautilus yearbook. See samples of Parkins pen and ink illustrations. CLICK HERE...............

   "I am awash with work (always a good thing for an engraver) and have been spending time with a group of traveling American wood engravers and I have only just been able to sit down and enjoy your talk."
    "I loved the passion of your interest and the thoroughness of your research - you were certainly digging. It was a treat to be exposed to so many Geary prints and I will certainly be looking out for images of them in the future. He himself developed a passion (later in life as you point out) and this cheers me; he is a good role model. I have engraved since 1991 but have only been a full time engraver since I reached my fifties (the last seven years). I do love his skies - good observation and imagination always combine well. I also enjoyed your work.Thank you for including me in this wider community." Andy English, wood engraver, Fens of Cambridgeshire, UK 

(courtesy of Andy English,, accessed May 16, 2014)

     "Hi Karl. Loved your lecture. What a great photo of Granny. She looked swell. Very much like Margaret and Gert. I know Granny had her nose in the kitchen because it is so fun, but I bet she didn’t make all the food. I think she hired many Hispanic people in the area to help her out."

"Great Lecture. Loved the wood block prints." Linda Lighton, Kansas City, MO

     "I never knew there was an early artist association in Kansas City in a group studio setting. And that the Kansas City YMCA building was the home of the first Kansas City Art Institute!"

     "Karl, you did a terrific job of reporting (and detective work!!) on Fred Geary. I loved the enthusiastic punctuations you add regarding our current print society! Thanks for all of your efforts for our group." Ruthie Osa, Olathe, KS

Steamboat Idlewild by Fred Geary, wood engraving, 9 by 12 3/4 inches. Six close up details (ABOVE). Once owned by Mike and Julie Dickson of Chillicothe has been SOLD. On back of mat: Denver Museum tag, and Northwest Printmakers 1941 tag (BELOW).

    "Karl, Just to let you know that the (ABOVE) print has been sold and is now with new owners. Thanks for all your hard work, as it has placed something of the past with love of the art of Mr. Geary! We are thankful that it has a new and loving home. We appreciate your hard work. Thought we should let you know so you could update your blog accordingly!" Julie and Mike Dickson, Chillicothe, Missouri

     "Nice job with your lecture!  I learned some things. It was well presented. As Robin said, the Easter, Passover weekend may not have been the best choice for getting maximum attendance but. Glad it's on film." Catherine Vesce, Kansas City

     "What jumped put at me was the graphic of the bldg at 1020 McGee built as the Art bldg (not remembering the exact title).  This triggered my imagination to want to know more about the origin of this fine bldg." Robin Gross, Kansas City 

   "Hi Karl. Great job especially with the cold bugging you. It sounds like you have found a new love in art. A couple things I picked up or questioned are: Did these print makers associate with the Prairie Print Makers? Birger Sandzen from Sweden and later Lindsborg, KS is my painting inspiration and he and fellow artists started the PPM. I'm amazed that his prints, drawings and paintings look like a matched set. Does yours? Nora Othic of our group has been tinkering with prints with her Columbia connections. Her stone prints look like her drawings. I understand she wants to try a cut print. Probably inspired by your great presentation." Darrell Gardner, North Missouri Arts Council, Marceline, MO

(ABOVE) On the River by Fred Geary, no date, wood engraving, 6 by 10 inches, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art Acquisition, 1939

     "The information in the original inventory indicates that this print was purchased in 1939 from Prairie Print Makers.  It would be logical since our first director Oscar Jacobson had close ties to Birger Sandzen and Bethany College." Gail Kana Anderson, Deputy Director/ Curator of Collections, Norman, OK  

****** Compare Geary woodcuts to his peers, CLICK HERE. ******



"Here are a few things I learned:
1)  Fred Geary worked for the Fred Harvey Company
2)  He supported his fine arts for (most? much? part?) of his life through more commercial art
3)  Artist do well to band together 
4)  Applying the proper amount of pressure when printing your woodcut by hand is difficult and requires patience
5)  Linda Lighton (the one I know) is not the first artist in her family
6)  Woodcuts are a good idea for artists who might have to work in their spare time
7)  Woodcuts have to be designed so that the patterns of light and dark literally support the composition
Nora Othic, Marceline, MO


(ABOVE)  Attractions by Fred Geary, wood engraving, 8 1/4 by 11 1/2 inches. Owner Steven Reuter, Overland Park, KS

     "I found your name while doing some internet search to obtain information  on Fred Geary. Being inexperienced at finding what I'm looking for, I thought you might be able to help. I have two woodcut images that I'm trying to find out a ballpark value of. These have some information on the back of the mattes indicating these were done in the late 30s and shown at the California State Library 1939 as well as Union Station in KC and Denver Art Museum and sold for $10. I am not interested in selling, but am interested in the approximate value. I've included some snapshots of the items." Steve Reuters  

Old Objects by Fred Geary, wood engraving, 6 3/4 by 11 1/4 inches. Owner Steven Reuter, Overland Park, KS.
     "Thanks for your reply. I am in Overland Park, Kansas. Born and raised in Carrollton. Do not have any further information, dates etc regarding the documentation. The images show all that I have, the tags are affixed to the back of the matte on the "Attractions." The other called "Old Objects" has no tags affixed to it. I do know that these were purchased together according to my Mom." Steven Reuter 

    "Karl, Thank you for asking me to your interesting talk. I learned about the amazing generosity and versatility of Gertrude Woolf Lighton!"  Lynn Mackle, Kansas City

Steamboat Bixby by Fred Geary, no date, woodcut, 5 7/8 by 9 1/4 inches. Owned by Richard Hamilton of Kansas City. See NEXT comment.

"Well I honestly do not remember where or how I found this print. It turned up in all my stuff and I recently took it out of the flat file - started studying it and thinking what a fine well made print and perhaps I should seek counseling for this hoarding issue. Got to wondering if the Bixby on the captains deck would relate to the boat or the artist that I knew a little about - ran out of time messing with this and laid it out as a reminder."

"So I was quite surprised while listening to the lecture that the print was shown, discussed and that resolved what I questioned. A very nice surprise indeed. Now, I need to determine what I want to do with this print - put it back away now that the mystery is over or do I put it in a frame - which starts another issue of where to display it. Drat, it's always something." Richard Hamilton, Kansas City, MO 

   "Nina Ramirez passed your email on to me about Fred Geary. The floor exists here at Union Station, however none of the original room configurations do except for Mr. Harvey’s original office. We do not have a museum per se, but do have several photos on display throughout the station depicting the Harvey House restaurant, Harvey Girls, and the stores the company ran."

"We also have five unique hand-painted Harvey Co. advertising signs and one of them has the initials FG at the bottom. Four of these signs are on display as well to the public; they aren’t in great shape but we’ve framed them and they are very nice examples." Denise Morrison, Union Station / Kansas City Museum


     "Fred Geary is listed as a member of the Southern States Art League in Who Was Who in American Art, Peter Hastings Falk, Editor-in-Chief (1999). This is confirmed by his appearance in two SSAL catalogues. I don’t know during what years (other than 1945 and 1946) he was a member, or when he joined. Karen Towers Klacsmann states in her master’s thesis, “Forgotten Endeavors: The Role of Women Members of the Southern States Art League in the Dissemination of the Visual Arts in the South,” “As stated in the by-laws, practicing artists of either Southern birth or residents in the South for five consecutive years were eligible for membership.”
        "In the Catalogue of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Exhibition of the Southern States Art League (April 1 to April 30, 1945, Birmingham Public Library, Birmingham, Alabama), it states: “The Prize of $15.00 for the best block print offered for the eleventh time by Mr. Edward S. Shorter of Columbus, Ga., has been awarded to Fred Geary for ‘Circus.’”
     "In the Catalogue, 26th Annual Exhibition, Southern States Art League (April 4 to 28, 1946, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia), it states: “The Prize of $15.00 for the best block print offered for the twelfth time by Mr. Edward S. Shorter of Columbus, Georgia, has been awarded to Fred Geary, Missouri, for ‘On the River.’”

     "Who Was Who lists his dates as 1894–1955. I see that the Library of Congress has his dates as 1894–1946, so I can’t account for the discrepancy. Perhaps the public libraries in Carrollton, Missouri, or Kansas City can provide an obituary. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Art of 1953, which would seem to suggest that he was still alive then."  Cary Wilkins,  Librarian/Archivist,  Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA

"It was not exactly one thing but the whole history of artist groups/ society in KC was fascinating." David Mc Gee
ABOVE, May 1934. Bulletin of Kansas City Art Institute

 Owner of 1718 Holly Street Lighton Studio, Mrs. D.M. Lighton

   "Hi Karl, Thank you for your presentation.  I found the part about the studio / gallery at 17th and Holly interesting, especially since I live a few blocks from there.  Also, I found the donation of the Woodcut Society prints interesting." Justin Rogers, Kansas City, MO

Who was Ilah M Kibbey?  CLICK HERE

Untitled (City) by Ilah Kibbey (ABOVE), aquatint etching, 5 by 8 inches
(courtesy of Kansas City Society of Artists at Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, downtown)

Head of a Young Girl, pastel by Mrs. D.M. Lighton
showed with Society of Artists at the Athenaum.
(courtesy of Linda Lighton, Kansas City, MO) 

 Left to right: Jane Wade (Lombard), Gertrude Woolf Lighton, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Hurst, and Mrs. Kelly. (courtesy of Linda Lighton, Kansas City, MO)

     "Fascinating video. I enjoyed it. Thank you for mentioning my contribution. It was put together very well and was very informative. It's odd, in a way to hear a lecture and history of my great grandmother. Thank you for doing that and sharing your hard work and research."  Terri Mooney, Overland Park, KS

Crockery Woman by Ernest H. Deines (ABOVE), wood engraving, member of Kansas City Society of Artists. (courtesy of Kansas City Society of Artists at Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library) Deines wrote the eleven page biography of his friend and collegue Fred Geary in 1947.

For more material on this presentation:
CHECK Spencer Art Reference Library (Nelson), 
Missouri Valley Special Collections, 
Jannes Library (KCAI), 
LaBudde Special Collections (UMKC), 
Park University Library, and 
Carrollton Public Library (CPL) for more material on this presentation.

Fred Geary was one of 46 woodcut artists
whose work was chosen to tour the United States
in the 1932 First Exhibition of Contemporary Woodcuts
gathered together and carried out by Alfred Fowler and his Woodcut Society of Kansas City. CLICK HERE to view other images from that exhibit.
      "I applaud your research on Fred Geary and printmaking in general. As a native Kansas Citian, I am always pleased when someone focuses on her artists. I think you are on the mark with the Woodcut Society. Those of us who are bitten by the printmaking bug tend to become zealots. Moreover, multiple membership allowed for more opportunities for exhibition--and thus possible sales -- and interchange with other artists to see what the others were doing." Michael R. Grauer, Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, TX

Fred Geary woodcuts (ABOVE) included with contemporary artists from Carrollton, Missouri, in the "Beautiful Fire" exhibition 1998.
List of Carrollton artists and mediums (BELOW)


Selected comments from viewers of the presentation and correspondence provided by Marxhausen.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

richard hamilton - print salon share

"Female nudes were the focus of sculptor and woodblock artist Aristide Maillol. The Nelson museum has a female nude sculpture in its collection. He is most famous for his sculptures of females. 
I think the last sculpture sold at auction was $1.8 million. I found my woodcut at the Far Gallery in New York. That same location now goes by the name of Loro Piana, an upscale retail store." Richard Hamilton
Double click to enlarge image.
Aristide Maillol   1861 - 1944
"Odes of Horace"
Original woodcut - limited to 150 original proofs.
8 X 6 inches.
Outside Dimensions of frame;  13.5 X 11.5 inches.
Executed in Ochre Ink on fine paper.
Housed in a hand carved 23.5KT frame with original gallery label verso.  {Far Gallery, 746 Madison Ave. New York, regent 4-7287}
For more Sanguine Woodblock Print by Maillol,
(courtesy of Richard C. Frey Fine Arts, accessed May 25, 2014)

Richard Hamilton is a member of the Nelson Atkins Print Society.

Print Salon Share took place on March 22, 2014.  
Photos by Karl Marxhausen

Saturday, May 17, 2014

spencer room - print salon share

Tell me what influences you see.  
Double click to click image larger.


 Russian woodcutter?

What influences do you see in this one?

Steps to this impression:
Draw river with graphite pencil on back of birch panel.

Re-draw black marker over graphite.

 Re-draw design on front side of birch panel.
Linoleum cutter digs out slivers of wood.

Birch panel is inked.

Test proof

Final proof: Among The Mulberries

Top print: Majestic by Karl Marxhausen, linocut, 12 by 12 inch image, 2013
Planning process for Majestic, click  Final details, click

Bottom print: Among The Mulberries by Karl Marxhausen, woodcut on birch panel, 18 by 18 inch image, 2013.

Influences, making images that are my own, as dark as possible, click


Karl Marxhausen is a member of the
Nelson Atkins Print Society.

Print Salon Share took place
 on March 22, 2014
Photos by Karl Marxhausen

Thursday, May 15, 2014

john mallery - print salon share

   When 22 KC print society members got together to share a print that meant something to each of us, STORIES opened up, and it got exciting in the Spencer Room of the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. Here is John:

"Once you buy a print, at least for me, it's a web. You start learning about one artist, then you want another artist, you want to know another artist, and it just kind of grows." John Mallery

The Nor-Wester  by Leon Pescheret, 
soft ground etching, 1936
More on print HERE 
(courtesy of Annex Galleries,, accessed March 30, 2014) 

Mallery introduces his Maurice Bebb print.  Two minute video.

"So this piece is a baby bird, I think it's a robin, but it is almost identical to print by another artist, after Charles E. Heil. Heil was a really well known bird, and did a lot of these baby bird prints. And so I've been researching Heil." John Mallery

More on Heil HERE. (courtesy of Skinner Inc,, accessed March 30, 2014)

John Mallery is a member of the Nelson Atkins Print Society.

Print Salon Share took place on March 22, 2014.  
Photos and video by Karl Marxhausen