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John Edgar Platt, (English, 1886-1967)

Building the Trawler

Color woodblock print; signed in pencil at lower right, John Platt XXXIX (trial proof), from a projected edition of 150. Self-carved and self-printed by the artist, ca. March 1929.

24.9 by 37.6 cm

In 1929, Platt became the Principal at Blackheath School of Art. He arranged the position as part-time, and had his studio on campus where the students were permitted to visit. Through the 1930's and 40's Platt maintained a steady output of prints and paintings, in spite of the fact that interest in color woodblock prints was diminishing. He served as the President of the Society of Graver-Printers in Colour from 1938-1958, and as an artist for the Ministry of War from 1943-1945. After his wife died unexpectedly in 1949, his own health began to fail and he produced very few subsequent works.

Platt's inclination towards architecture and engineering made him particularly keen on mastering the technical challenges of any given field. This sensitivity is evident in the production of his woodblock prints. Unlike many artists who carved and printed their own works, Platt's woodblock prints are remarkably skillfully executed: a technical feat which is so very often accomplished by the collaboration of an artist's eye towards the composition and color, and the printer's skilled hand (for example with the prints of Charles W. Bartlett, cat. nos. 13-16). In Platt, both the artist and the artisan resided in one man.

References:
Holme, Geoffrey, ed., Modern Woodcuts and Lithographs by British and French Artists, 1919, p. 32
Chapman, A Catalogue of the Colour Woodcuts of John Edgar Platt, 1999, p. 35, no. 18

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site last updated
September 22, 2020

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
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