C.A. Seward

1884 - 1939

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Images above:  Bertha Jaques, “Fulsiarra,” drypoint, 1935 (Allinson Gallery), a photograph of Jaques and the three prints of Seward’s which she discusses in her letter below: (the lino cut she uses in her lectures) “Big Pines Raton Pass,” and “Pumpkin Patch” and “Elk Valley Farm.” Below is a 1906 cyanotype, “Goldenrod”

Bertha Evelyn Jaques (née Clausen) like her friend C.A. Seward was largely self-taught.  She combined her interest in nature and the environment with her desire to explore the etching process which she is said to have discovered at the 1893 Columbian Exposition World’s Fair in Chicago.  In addition to her interest in etching, Jaques also extensively explored the art of the photogram through the cyanotype process producing striking silhouettes of her subjects from nature.   

Bertha Jaques was an important early figure in the field of American etching. She was the primary founder in 1910 of the Chicago Society of Etchers.  No documentation has been found for when or how she and Seward became acquainted but a news clipping from 1921 includes a notation that Jaques work was being exhibited at the Seward Studio in Wichita.  From the relationships she built with other artists who exhibited with the Chicago Society of Etchers, Jaques may have been the person who introduced Seward to artists and printmakers in Chicago. When Seward organized the Prairie Print Makers, he incorporated many of the ideas used by the Chicago Society of Etchers including the Associate Membership category and the Annual Gift Print.

 In the letter below, Jaques enthusiasm for Seward’s gift of more material for her lectures demonstrates the kindred spirit of their long friendship and collaboration.  (Joby Patterson noted in her book on Jaques that between 1913 and 1933 she had given about 140 of her lecture demonstrations on printmaking.)   The “Jimmie,”she refers to in her letter is James Swann who was invited to join the Prairie Print Makers in 1936 and then served as the last President of the organization. Walter Crandall, whom she also mentions, resided in Wichita in the 1920s and operated an art gallery known as The Blue Lantern.  Crandall later moved to Honolulu and commissioned Seward to create a series of small etchings of Hawaiian scenes. After Seward died in 1939, Charles Capps was then commissioned to do additional Hawaiian scenes for Crandall.  Walter Crandall most likely introduced Seward to Hawaii based printmaker Luquiens.

4316 Greenwood Avenue, Chicago

Jan. 7, 1937

Well, you Old Dear,

It is a good thing you were not here last night when Jimmie Swann unloaded himself after

a hearty meal and showed me the treasures he brought from you. Maybe it would have been safe

for you after all, because I was too flabbergasted to move for a while. How could you know what a splendid thing you did for me? Next Tuesday and Wednesday, I have three lectures on Graphic arts to give before Junior colleges and while I always show your lithographs and that tree linoleum cut of yours I have never been able to show anything of the process. And now you

make it possible, adding fifty percent to the interest of my work. Nothing could have been more

timely. In all my talks for years your lithos and linoleum cut have served to attract attention to

the medium, and your work. I am more grateful than I can exactly say.

And the Pumpkin Patch is one of your most stunning efforts; so is the Elk Valley Farm; I

love the composition. How wonderfully you are forging ahead. I hope these prints will find their

way to the East where I am told lithos are now the main interest. It makes me so sorry that our

Society can not show them; but now that the Society of American etchers is sponsoring an

exhibition of woodcuts and lithos, it is your time to jump in.

Jimmie thinks your group is the most interesting, and the most friendly of any he has met

- and he just sings about you - not a solo for I sang a duet with him. He is so pleased that he was able to be in your home and meet your family - and so was I. At present Jimmie is my life saver for I am counting on dumping all my work on his broad shoulders and I think he is going to make a fine secretary when he gets the hang of the ropes.

Give me a little time to recover from this shock and I may think of something I can do to

express my appreciation. Love and best wishes from Walter Crandall and have your drypoint

hanging up where I can think of you both every day.


Bertha E. Jaques

Seward - Bertha E. Jaques, 1863 - 1941

Exhibition Programs

Seward Studio and the Wichita Art Association

Return to Seward - Arts Advocatehttp://casewardprintmaker.com/C.A._Seward_1884-1939/Arts_Advocate.html

Artists letters include:

Seward Studio and Wichita Art Association Exhibitions & purchases as well as Prairie Print Maker correspondence

John Taylor Arms

June 1937

October 1937

October 1938

George Elbert Burr

25 April 1922

John Noble


Gustave Baumann

26 April 1922

Bertha Jaques

June 1937

& news clipping ca 1921

Carl Oscar Borg

16 Nov 1926

B.J.O. Nordfeldt

December 1927

January 1929

August 1930

Maynard Dixon

2 Jan 1928

31 Oct 1934

Kenneth Adams

August 1929

December 1937

Frances Gearhart

abt 1930

Howell C. Brown


Stow Wengenroth


Todd Lindenmuth




1934 re: Prairie Print Makers

Herbert Pullinger



Artist Letters an IntroductionArts_Artist_lttrs.html