C.A. Seward

1884 - 1939

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Herschel C. Logan 1901 - 1987

 

At the age of only 23, Herschel Logan was selected to be included in a prestigious national print exhibition and the Wichita Eagle included a feature story about him and his work. This important recognition launched his career as a well respected artist and print maker.


Herschel Logan was one of the youngest of those artists who formed the 2nd generation of artists who undertook the task of describing what 19th Century explorer Stephen Long had named “the Great American Desert” .....the land immediately west of the Mississippi, the prairies and plains of North America. Logan’s generation followed that of the artist-explorers of the 19th Century whose work had served to introduce this vast landscape this “desert” to the armchair viewers and politicians residing on the East Coast. His predecessors provided geographic illustrations, historical narratives and in some instances paintings of “sublime moments.” Logan’s generation would add another chapter to the art of the American West.


By the early years of the 20th Century settlements and towns had sprung up all over this vast prairie.  Thus the next generation of artists, including Logan, faced a much different view of the American Plains. It became their task to describe what they had become. The view was no longer that which Willa Cather has so eloquently described in her earliest writings, a space in American where it was “all about the land.” For at this point it was not only about the land, but also the people who now inhabited it. It was about the balance that man had developed between himself and this visually and naturally dominating landscape.


Herschel Logan quickly became a master at describing this balance. This is the signature of his work and a lasting testament to his instinctive perception and ability to create images that continue to resonate and be of importance today. Logan captured the delicate balance between nature and the first generations who began farming this vast prairie landscape.


An important part of his instinctive response to this environment was to choose as his own, an artistic medium that was historically grounded in the hand made; the wood cut. With the rise of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the late 19th Century many artists, including Logan, adopted and became quite skilled at exploiting the distinct characteristics of this medium. The woodcut artists of this era celebrated the handmade - handcarved qualities dictated by this medium. Logan, likely because of the strength of his training and experience as a commercial artist, soon distinguished himself by carefully balancing this hand craftsmanship with  more precise and linear sense of line. He combined this with his own  sense for balancing the dark and light patterns of his forms. The best of Logan’s prints are thus invested with both the old world intimacy of the handcrafted and the modernist sensibility of a dominantly flattened picture plane revealed through dark and light patterns.


Logan was born in Missouri in 1901, the year before his mother died, after which his father moved to a farm near Winfield, Kansas, where he was reared.  It was there that the Kansas landscape made an impression on him so strong that it was never to leave his sensibility or his art.  Loganʼs interest in becoming an artist began in childhood demonstrated by his first efforts of drawing cartoons on the family barn. This was followed by his initial formal training, a  mail order course and a dedicated school art teacher. In 1920  he left the small farming community of his youth and enrolled for  a years training at the Chicago Academy of Art.  

 
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19 April 1901, Magnolia, Missouri

(1903 family moves to farm  outside of Winfield, KS)

1987, California


Education:

Chicago Academy of Art

Professional Positions & Honors:

Apprentice artist, McCormick Armstrong Press, Wichita, KS 1921-1929

Director, Mid-Continent Engraving Company, Salina, KS 1929-1931

Art Director, Consolidated Printing and Stationery Co, Salina, KS 1931-1967

Charter Member - Prairie Print Makers

Midwestern Artist’s Exhibition, Kansas City Art Institute

1924

1926 bronze medal,

1927 bronze Medal

1928 - The Weaver, Lost Hope

1930 - The First Snow,silver medal, Summer Day

1931 - Fodder in the Shock, Snow, Barker Homestead

1933 Honorable Mention - Sunlight Through the Trees,

Morning Sunlight

1939 New York World’s Fair Exhibition



 
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