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Nov 3, 2010. - Jul 24, 2011.

An Eye For Architecture

The Etchings of John Taylor Arms

Stunning etching by J.T. Arms

John Taylor Arms, W. 42nd St., Night, 1920, etching/aquatint. Click image to enlarge.

The etcher John Taylor Arms (1887–1953) is ranked among the most renowned printmakers in early 20th-century America, and the Chrysler Museum of Art presents his work in a free exhibition on view in the Kaufman Theatre Lobby.

Active on both sides of the Atlantic, Arms achieved fame both for his prints of the great cathedrals and picturesque buildings of Europe—he believed that Gothic architecture was mankind’s loftiest achievement—and his equally evocative renderings of modern-day Manhattan.

Trained as an architect, Arms began his career as an architectural draftsman and then turned to printmaking at the close of World War I.

He brought to his prints an architect’s eye for richly rendered detail and a genius for conveying the grandeur and drama of a sun-struck stone façade.

A technical virtuoso, he sometimes worked his plates with sewing needles to achieve the finest of lines, and he typically used a magnifying glass to capture the subtlest shifts in tone.

Interest in Arms is growing, as is the critical appreciation of his work. The National Gallery in Washington, D.C. will present an exhibition The Gothic Spirit of John Taylor Arms from May 15 - Nov. 27, 2011.

The 23 works on display here were selected from the Chrysler’s extensive collection of Arms etchings and memorabilia.

Donated in the mid-1950s by the artist’s widow, Dorothy Noyes Arms, the collection includes more than 300 prints, a group of etching tools and steel and copper plates, and one of John and Dorothy’s collaborative publications, The Cathedrals of France.

Gates of the City

John Taylor Arms

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