Let’s Play!


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The Gearharts. Afterword by Victoria Dailey. Note on the Gearhart printing technique by Susan Futterman. Printed by Typecraft, Wood, and Jones, Pasadena, California. 2009.

In 1929, Pasadena artists and sisters Frances, May, and Edna Gearhart created a children’s book illustrated with their original linoleum cuts and descriptive verses. It was not published. Eighty years later The Book Club of California has now brought the first edition of this charming work into publication.   Frances Gearhart (1869–1958) became the leading color woodcut artist in California during her lifetime, renowned for her dramatic landscape views of mountains, desert, and shore. Her use of saturated color, her sense of composition and her use of outline reflect her interest in Japanese prints. This series of children at play in our book combines Gearhart’s artistic sensibilities with a subject she knew well from her years of teaching. May Gearhart (1872–1951), a leading practitioner of the color etching, was the Supervisor of Art in the Los Angeles City School system, while Edna Gearhart (1879–1974), who was skilled at drawing, taught art at Los Angeles High School.  During the 1920s, all three sisters worked together in the gallery, where they offered their own prints and exhibited the work of leading international printmakers—the Gearharts were at the center of the printmaking world of Southern California.

11½ × 10. 48 pp. 25 multi-color plates including one foldout plate. Loose print suitable for framing. (“The Lost Balloon”) 11 verses. Bound in tan paper over boards with title and names of authors in three colors on label pasted on front cover. Brown cloth spine with title and authors stamped in gold. Tan dust jacket with title, authors, and modified three-color version of the loose print. Designed by Janine Vigus. Edition 900 copies.


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