C.A. Seward

1884 - 1939

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  1. 1.For the Prairie Print Makers see Barbara Thompson O'Neill, George C. Foreman, and Howard W. Ellington. The Prairie Print Makers. Topeka: Kansas Arts Commission, 1981; and The Prairie Print makers: an exhibition / organized and toured by ExhibitsUSA. Kansas City, Mo.: ExhibitsUSA, Mid-America Arts Alliance, 2001 (with essays by Karal Ann Marling, Elizabeth G. Seaton and Bill North).
    The spontaneous invitation extended to Smalley to be an honorary member is recounted by PPM charter member Lloyd Foltz in a 1980 questionnaire that is in the Seward family archives; “Carl Smalley was not an artist, but a McPherson art dealer and friend of Dr. Sandzen. It is my private opinion that he "got in" as a charter member of the Prairie Printmakers because he happened in at the organizational meeting and the Dr. Sandzen being the world's most courteous gentleman, invited him in.” Carl Smalley supported himself as a publisher’s representative but also, like Seward, ran an "Art Shop" in McPherson, Kansas, in his father’s converted seed store. Smalley's shop carried prints, some paintings, books, Rookwood pottery, as well as imported Chinese incense, ivory, and coral. Seward and Smalley had grown up in nearby communities and in later years collaborated and shared exhibitions. By 1916, Smalley had developed a warm friendship with Sandzen and he actively promoted and sold Sandzen’s paintings and prints until he closed his shop in 1934. In 1916 Smalley introduced Sandzen to the art of lithography, and then published two books on Sandzen's lithographs: In the Smoky Valley (1922), and In the Mountains (1925). For Smalley see: Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) Compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian Univ. of Kansas. Revised & Expanded Edition July 2009, p. 342, http://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/dspace/handle/1808/1028, consulted July 24, 2011. 

  2. 2.After moving to Wichita in 1907 Seward had first established his own design studio and then became head of the art departments at the Capper Engraving Company and later the Southwest Advertising Company. In 1918 he once again established his own commercial design studio and art gallery that he maintained until joining the Western Lithograph Company as Director of Art where he also established a printing service for other artists. Noted printmakers like New Mexico based Kenneth Adams and California based William Rice made use of this service. Seward carefully mentored his young staff members and then gave them further instruction in his backyard studio, where, Capps recalls, "we were taught the fine points of etching, lithography, block printing and variations on these media." When asked about Seward’s influence on him as an artist, Foltz said simply: “Seward was my Daddy when it comes to art.”

  3. 3.C.A. Seward wrote Metal Plate Lithography for Artists and Draftsmen in 1929 and it was published by Pencil Points Press in 1931. This text is one of four “how to” books published on lithography during the first half of the 20th Century. It is unique in many ways but particularly distinguished both by Seward’s advice to new practitioners to learn the process, then experiment and develop their own methods and also by the prints he selected as illustrations for his text. He did not confine these illustrations to his immediate Wichita based associates but also included works by artists based throughout the country including Louis Lozowick, Wanda Gag, George Biddle, Rockwell Kent, Gerald Cassidy, and Kenneth Adams.

  4. 4.Birger Sandzén, as told to John A. Bird, "C.A. Seward – Promoter of Kansas Art." The Kansas Magazine (1937):1-5

  5. 5.Lisa Peters, "Print Clubs in America." Print Collectors Newsletter 13 no. 3 (July-August 1982): 88-91

  6. 6.See: http://www.casewardprintmaker.com/C.A._Seward_1884-1939/1_C.A._Seward_Home_3.html (accessed July 13, 2011)

  7. 7.The organization was formed in a city with a population of only 72,000 compared to Chicago at 3 million and Kansas City, 2.5 million; the only other significant print collecting communities in the Midwest.

  8. 8.Officers of The Prairie Print Makers: 1931- 1938
    President, Leo Courtney, Vice President, Charles M. Capps, Secretary-Treasurer, C.A. Seward
    President, Charles M Capps, Vice President, Lloyd C. Foltz, Secretary-Treasurer, Leo Courtney
    1940 - 1942
    President, Lloyd C. Foltz ,Vice President, William J. Dickerson, Secretary- Treasurer, Charles M Capps
    President Lloyd C Foltz, Vice President, Charles M Capps, Secretary-Treasurer, William J Dickerson
    1944 - 1946
    President, Charles M Capps, Vice President, William J Dickerson, Secretary-Treasurer, Arthur W Hall
    President Charles M Capps, Vice President, William J Dickerson, Secretary-Treasurer, James Swann

  9. 9.The November 1980 letter (which is in the Seward family archives) was sent by Charles Capps to Barbara Thompson in response to a questionnaire addressed to the then living charter members of the Prairie Print Makers (Capps, Foltz, Logan, Hotvedt).

  10. 10.The Seward Family scrapbook of news clippings includes several announcements about print exhibitions at the Seward Studio (see, for example, the article “Art Shop is Wichita’s Latest Contribution Toward Furthering Things Purely Artistic,” Wichita Eagle, August 14, 1921). Related information can be found at the family’s website dedicated to C.A. Seward: http://www.casewardprintmaker.com/artists_letters/Arts_Artist_lttrs.html (consulted July 25, 2011). The records of the Wichita Art Association are now housed at the Wichita Center for the Arts.

  11. 11.See Broun’s introduction in: Elizabeth Broun, Gregory Gilbert, and David C. Henry. Kansas Printmakers. Lawrence, Spencer Museum of Art (exhibition catalogue), 1981.


The Prairie Print Makers - 1930 - 1965

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Introduction Essay Footnotes