Signed woodblock color print, 14" X 17¼" (image 7" X 10½"), n.p., n.y. Near fine. This Chicago area graphic artist and book illustrator was an award-winning and innovative printer and designer. Reed developed an intricate wood engraving technique that utilized multiple blocks to produce superbly-defined color prints -- a technique that one eulogist described as "a very uneconomical way to print, but you got much sharper, much clearer results." The many books he illustrated include Dickens' "A Christmas Carol in Prose" (1940), James Thurber's "Many Moons" (1958), "Mother Goose and Nursery Rhymes" (1963) and "The Seven Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor" (1939), among others. The colored woodblock print offered here depicts Mr. Pickwick, the retired businessman and founder/chairman of the Pickwick Club in Charles Dickens' "The Pickwick Papers" -- an older, stout gentleman, almost a Benjamin Franklin lookalike. Pictured full-length, he strolls to the viewer's right across a dirt terrain of grass clumps and wildflowers wearing typical 19th century garb of tight breeches and stockings, patterned vest and frilly collar, long open greatcoat and small flat cap. He holds his right arm behind his back and in his left hand holds what appears to be a monocle attached to a cord that goes around his neck, although he is also wearing archaic spectacles. Beautifully colored in green, yellow, blue, tan and flesh hues. At lower right of the image area, Reed signs boldly in pencil in his handsome calligraphic hand. This print was likely a separate printing on larger stock of one of Reed's book illustrations; as there is no printed bibliographic data, it's likely Reed produced these in his Park Ridge studio for private distribution. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Signed Woodblock Color Print (Mr. Pickwick)
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