Fritz Eichenberg - Artist of the Book
2/2/2014, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Photo information: Fritz Eichenberg, American, 1901–1990 Proposal Under the Trees, from Jane Eyre, Chapter 23. From Fritz Eichenberg, Artist of the Book: 248 Selected Wood Engravings, 1938-1972, a portfolio edition of illustrations from twelve works of literature, 1979 Originally published as a two-volume set with Wuthering Heights, 1943. Gift of the Fritz Eichenberg Trust 2009.007i Art © The Fritz Eichenberg Trust/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Free and Open to the Public
The Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery exhibit: Fritz Eichenberg - Artist of the Book.
The Fine Arts Gallery is located in Cohen Memorial Hall, 1220 21st Avenue South, on the western edge of the Peabody College campus. All events are free and open to the public. Fritz Eichenberg - Artist of the Book will remain on view through February 27, 2014. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1-5 p.m.
Fritz Eichenberg’s life was shaped by his firsthand experience of World War I in Cologne, Germany, and his immigration to the United States in 1933 as Germany was preparing for another war. Eichenberg was a highly sensitive person with a quick eye, a sharp wit, a passionate love of literature, and an equally intense commitment to the truth. He combined these qualities to produce several careers’ worth of work as a
political cartoonist, book illustrator, religious radical (he was a major contributor to the newspaper of the Catholic Worker, a left-leaning movement founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Marin in 1933), and distinguished educator. His images, published in newspapers, magazines, portfolios, and more than one hundred books, have reached countless numbers of people. He was, in the best sense of the word, a popular artist, one who communicated to a wide audience his unique vision while maintaining the highest technical and ethical standards.
The focus of Fritz Eichenberg - Artist of the Book will be a selection of forty illustrations Eichenberg created for twelve classic works of literature. They include wood engravings he made for a 1938 edition of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, the first major work of literature he illustrated after immigrating to the United States from Germany; as well as for such works as Resurrection and Childhood, Boyhood, Youth, both by Leo Tolstoy; a two-volume set of Emily and Charlotte Brontë’s works Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre; Tales of Edgar Allen Poe; and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, among others.
A set of original publications will be featured along with a self-portrait of Eichenberg with many of the authors illustrated in this exhibition, thanks to a generous loan from a local collector. Additionally, this loan will include Eichenberg's preparatory drawing, final print and original woodblock for the cover of The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of Dorothy Day, along with the book itself, allowing visitors a glimpse into the artist's process. The gallery will also present selections from Eichenberg’s 1972 work In Praise of Folly (Encomium Moriae) from its permanent collection.
Fritz Eichenberg - Artist of the Book is organized by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and curated by Joseph S. Mella, director.