Studio: international art — 51.1911

Page: 283
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1 cm
Etchings by Herman A. Webster



Since the unfortunate Meryon bequeathed
to the world that wonderful series of Eauxfortes
sur Paris which firmly established his fame as one
of the greatest artists on copper that the world has
produced, numerous workers have arisen who have
fallen under the spell of his genius, and been
inspired by that old-world architecture which he
interpreted with such superb technical mastery and
such exquisite feeling. Geniuses of the order of
Mdryon are extremely rare in the history of the
world, and it would be unfair to hold up for com-
parison with his achievements with the needle and
the burin the work of those after-comers who have
been influenced, consci-
ously or unconsciously, by
his art; nevertheless there
are to be found among them
some at all events whose
productions can, without
hesitation, be acclaimed as
worthy of appreciation.

One of these is Herman
A. Webster, of whose
accomplishments as an
original etcher some ex-
amples are reproduced on
this and the following
pages. Though many of
the American readers of
this magazine have already
made acquaintance with
his work, it is probably
unknown to the majority
of those in the Eastern
hemisphere, for, though
the “art of scratch,” as
Ruskin contemptuously
styled this very personal
means of expression, meets,
nowadays, with far more
public support than it did
in Mdryon’s day, such exhi-
bitions as those of the
Painter-Etchers and the
black-and-white room at
the Royal Academy, where
Mr. Webster’s prints have
appeared during the past
three or four years, cannot
yet be reckoned amongst
the popular shows. “st. ouen, rouen’

As the artist is now but little over 30, and
scarcely more than six years have elapsed since he
etched his first plate, the record of his career need
not occupy much space. He is a New Yorker by
birth, and the first signs of an artistic leaning made
themselves manifest when he was a boy at school,
where he designed the posters for the school
sports. Later on, while at Yale, where he gradu-
ated in 1900, this impulse found an outlet in the
pages of the college journal, “Yale Record,” to
the illustration of which he contributed various
drawings. It was not, however, till after the lapse
of some three or four years, when the irksomeness
of the commercial career which in deference to
parental wishes he pursued for a time proved in-
tolerable, that he definitely gave himself up to


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