Glimpse into the Collection: “In the Fields”

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Diane Davis is project photographer for the IMLS Digitization Project Grant. Beginning in 2010, she produces master image files to digitally archive all of the Ackland’s collections.  Previously, Diane was a professional photographer in Charlotte, NC who served on boards at The Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography & Film, Women in Communications-NC Chapter, and NC Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers. After having a commercial business in Charlotte for 25 years,  she finds working on this important project a very satisfying extension of her career.

Since I’ve been on the Ackland’s digitization project the longest of our team of three, I’d like to kick off with an image that inspired me to start putting images into my “favorites” folder.  It was on November 24, 2010, and I had been photographing works on paper at the Ackland for less than a month. I came across a print by Wharton Esherick entitled Harvesting. I remember thinking, “This print is too fabulous not to save somewhere! How will I ever remember it after five months, a year, or two years of viewing such quantities of artwork?”

Esherick_Harvesting_whole_with_signature

Wharton Esherick, American, 1887-1970: “Harvesting,” 1927; wood engraving.
Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Burton Emmett Collection, 58.1.1669.

And so it began. Esherick’s print started my “In the Fields” folder. That phase of the project included a lot of artworks that depicted agrarian activities — different cultures, different mediums, and different views of what it meant to the artists to reflect on their surroundings. But this one — how spectacular is this!?!

Note the writing below the image (click it to enlarge). The collector, Burton Emmett, often made notations about his purchases directly on the pieces themselves. This one indicates that he bought the print from the Weyhe Gallery in New York for $10 in 1929. The piece was part of the “50 Prints of the Year” exhibit sponsored by the American Art Dealers Association.

If you want to see more of Wharton Esherick’s work in the Ackland’s collection, there are three more pieces you can find by using our website’s Collection Database Search. Just type his name into the “Artist/Creator” field and voilà! You can also use the simple search field at the top of any page on our website.

More pieces in my “In the Fields” folder are below. Be on the lookout for our upcoming glimpses into the Ackland’s collection. Dana & Abby have some intriguing favorites planned!

Steffen

Bernard Joseph Steffen, American, 1907-1980: “Upland,” n.d.; lithograph.
Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gift of W. P. Jacocks, 58.2.806.

Schreiber

Georges Schreiber, American, 1904-1977: “Untitled,” n.d.; lithograph.
Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gift of W. P. Jacocks, 58.2.280.

Dobrov

Dobrov, American: “Sower with Birds,” n.d.; brush and ink on cardboard.
Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Burton Emmett Collection, 58.1.2344.

DeMartelly

John Stockton De Martelly, American, 1903-1979: “Ride-a-cock-horse,” n.d.; lithograph.
Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gift of W. P. Jacocks, 58.2.491.

 

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