Herbert Halpern Fine Arts

View Cart $0.00 (0 items) checkout

John Taylor Arms

Price: $950.00

John Taylor Arms (AM 1887-1953) – Destroyers in Wet Basin at Federal Ship Building and Dry Dock Company – South Kearney, New Jersey – USS Radford, Quick, Mervine – Etching, 1943, US Navy Series # 2, signed, dated and numbered “III” in pencil, ed. 875. This piece is in excellent condition.

A gifted draftsman, Arms used only line to describe the texture of old stone, for instance, and to achieve a variety of tones. A technical virtuoso, he created compositions full of keenly observed details and nuanced light. Although the plates were most often printed with black ink, they are sometimes printed on pale blue antique paper or with colored ink.

Arms created more than 400 prints that explore a variety of subjects in addition to Gothic cathedrals. He began his printmaking career in 1916––after his wife gave him an etching set for Christmas––by depicting the architecture of New York City. After celebrating such marvels as the Woolworth building, however, he wrote, “I can admire the skyscrapers of New York, that unbelievable city which is a very gold mine for the architectural etcher, but I do not love them and I cannot etch what I do not love.” Arms studied the crumbling palazzo of medieval Venice where he overcame the challenge of mimicking the texture of decaying stonework and capturing watery reflections. In England he focused on the rural settings of parish churches and picturesque villages. In Italy he produced wonderful views of towns nestled in the hilly countryside. A sailor during World War I, Arms retained a great love of the sea and etched naval warships throughout World War II. Since travel restrictions curtailed the artist’s trips to Europe, a sojourn to Mexico resulted in impressive depictions of Taxco and the Yucatan Peninsula.