Digital Commonwealth

Stow Wengenroth (1906-1978). Prints and Drawings

Boston Public Library

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Stow Wengenroth (1906-1978), was an American painter and printmaker.

Born in Brooklyn, Wengenroth studied between 1923 and 1927 at the Art Students League with George Bridgman and at the Grand Central School of Art with Wayman Adams. In 1929-1930, he studied at the Eastport Summer School of Art in Eastport, Maine with George Pearse Ennis. Recognizing his skill as a draftsman, it was Ennis who suggested that Wengenroth turn to lithography.

Wengenroth published his first lithograph in 1931 and that same year his first one-man exhibition was held at the Macbeth Galleries in New York City. Following that success, Wengenroth moved from Brooklyn to Greenwich Village so he could work in collaboration with the master printer George Miller. That collaboration continued until Miller retired in 1960, at which point Miller’s son Burr became Wengenroth’s printer. Although he remained based in New York, Wengenroth’s subjects are inspired by his travels throughout New England, especially along the coastlines of Massachusetts and Maine.

In addition to creating more than 300 lithographs, Wengenroth also wrote on lithography. His articles on the medium include “Lithography vs. Lithography” (Print Collector’s Quarterly, February 1937), “How to Look at Lithographs” (London Studio, June 1937), “Four Lithographs” (American Artist, March 1949), “George C. Miller, Master Printer” (American Artist, May 1966), and “Crayon Lithography” (Fritz Eichenberg, The Art of the Print, 1976).

The majority of the works by Wengenroth in Boston Public Library’s collection were the gift of Isabelle S. Knobloch, who donated 191 lithographs and 5 dry-brush drawings to the library in 1952. The collection has been further enhanced through additional gifts and purchases, including 11 drawings that were donated by the artist himself.

In 1974, Boston Public Library collaborated with the artist, the authors Ronald and Joan Stuckey, and other contributors to publish The Lithographs of Stow Wengenroth, 1931-1972. In 1982, the Stuckeys published Stow Wengenroth’s Lithographs: A Supplement to complete the full catalogue of Wengenroth’s oeuvre.

Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to Boston Public Library collections, including this one, was provided by the Associates of the Boston Public Library.
 

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