William D. White : vision and voice of the artist revealed
by Nancy Carol Willis (Foreword by Ryan Grover)
Dover, DE: Biggs Museum of American Art, 2015. Softcover. As New. Color pictorial stiff wraps. v, 106 pp., profusely illustrated mostly in color. In MArch 2015, the Biggs Museum of American Art opened an exhibition of the works of William D. White(1896-1971), a currently unknown Delaware artist whose illustrations and fine art reshape our understanding of Brandywine tradition artwork. The exhibition, entitled William D. White: Vision and Voice, took place March 6 - June 21, 2015 and was the first major exhibition and exhibition catalogue of this unique and important regional artist. This artist's varied and significant career spans some of the country's most intense moments of the 20th century as well as the final days of the golden age of American illustration. The exhibition and publication celebrated significant moments in the life of the artist through an examination of over 75 works.Beginning in 1920, White created roughly 500 illustrations, several murals, numerous easel paintings, and over 150 documented works on paper during his 50-year career. He received classical training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and studied briefly with Gayle Porter Hoskins. However, William D. White rejected the idea of imagination as central to visual storytelling, a key tenet to Wilmington's Brandywine School of Art, whose illustrators created dramatic images for fiction classics and historical events. Instead, White took a humanist approach to illustration based upon direct observation. Seeking authenticity, he set out to paint "real life." White descended mine shafts, climbed bridge spans, and crawled through subway tunnels to document the real-life drama played out daily by men working back-breaking, and often dangerous, jobs. His illustrations of coal and copper miners, construction workers, and farm laborers were among America's earliest images to humanize poorly-educated and low-paid minorities - African Americans, Mexicans, and unskilled European immigrants - as the unsung heroes of American Industrial might. William D. White's credits include illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post, three trade publications for the Hercules Powder Company, two Phelps Dodge Corporation commissions to document copper miners, and a TRAP (Treasury Relief Art Project) mural commission to decorate the Dover Post Office interior. He also created landscapes, portraits, and American Scene subjects depicting everyday life.
(Inventory #: 156601)
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