Fritz Eichenberg - The Steps
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Fritz Eichenberg (1901 - 1990)
Wood engraving on Rives, 1934
From the edition of 200
Signed, titled and inscribed "Ed. 200" in pencil, lower margin
Published by Associated American Artists, New York
Image dimensions: 6.25 x 4.75 in (15.8 x 12 cm)
Sheet dimensions: 12 x 9 in (30.5 x 22.8 cm), full margins
A fine copy on Rives paper, printed by Ernest Roth. In The Wood And The Graver, Eichenberg recounts that this engraving, one of four iconic studies (also including "The Aquarium", "City Lights", and “Subway) of New York life that arose from his first impressions as a newly-arrived immigrant, was inspired by friends who urged him to create such images while the freshness of the American experience still remained strong.
Fritz Eichenberg was born in Cologne, Germany. He worked as a printer's apprentice and studied at both the Municipal School of Applied Arts in Cologne and the Academy of Graphic Arts in Leipzig. He began his career as a graphic artist and illustrator in 1923, working for various publications and as freelance illustrator.
In 1933, anxious about the rise of National Socialism, he emigrated with his wife and child to New York. Eichenberg worked for the WPA's Federal Arts Project from his arrival to the end of the decade. He taught art at the New School for Social Research and at Pratt Institute, where he established and headed the Graphic Arts Department, and opened the Pratt Graphic Arts Center in Manhattan. He later served as the head of the art department at University of Rhode Island, and laid out the printmaking studios there.
Eichenberg was a prolific book illustrator, and published numerous portfolios on various themes.