This is a pair of incredible miniature etchings framed side by side in a singular gilded frame, produced by the American artist John Taylor Arms (1887-1953). The scenes that they represent, as well as the considerable technical skill that was required to make them, offer a glimpse into the beautiful creative mind of one of the greatest American printmakers of the first half of the 20th century.
Educated in law and then architecture, John Taylor Arms did not pick up etching until his late 20s. In fact, he only pursued it after receiving an etching set for Christmas from his wife. Quickly developing a passion for etching, he started studying the techniques of the old masters, and honed his incredible hand and eye in creating texture, depth and light in his inked copper plates. His subject matter followed his training in architecture, and it became his lifetime passion to portray the Gothic buildings that he so venerated in Europe with precision and incredible detail. By 1919, Arms had abandoned his architectural firm to pursue a career in this meticulous art.
Most impressive in Arms body of work, which makes up more than 400 different etchings, is a perennial love of Gothic Architecture which Arms found truly inspirational. The cathedrals of France and England, the towers of Northern Italy, and later when travel to Europe was restricted during the second World War, colonial architecture in Mexico, became his muses. He said of these muses, that they offer “the most significant expression of man’s aspirations” and we can see that the flying buttresses, stone arches and incredible engineered vaults represent a true melding of both beauty and engineering for John Taylor Arms. His meticulous etchings recreate the repetition, exacting detail and mathematical genius of the centuries old buildings, and through his meticulous engravings, he exalts both the emotional and mathematical expression of the human spirit.
Today, John Taylor Arm’s work is represented in several museums across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Library of Congress, the British Museum, the Bibliotheque Nationale Paris and the Cleveland Museum of Art.
In this pair of works, beautifully framed almost as a diptych, we see these incredible themes play out in an even more impressive form. In tiny scale, and using the heads of sewing needles, John Taylor Arms has chosen two different scenes to engrave in about the space of a postage stamp. Each was printed in 1941 as the artist was in his 60s. One is a study of the Triangular Bridge (also called the Trinity Bridge) (Edition 236 of 500) in Crowland England. The other is Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico (Edition 150 of 500), a city known for its incredible centuries of Spanish architecture. Each features the artist’s printed signature. These miniatures are each a rare and limited edition of his engravings and they represent Arm’s lifetime study of architecture. The choice of scale, however, is truly what amazes. Here, most need a high powered magnifying glass to truly witness Arms work, and it is this private and rarefied experience that makes Arm’s miniatures all the more captivating. It is as if we are peering into a different and private universe, one reserved for only the most sensitive and dedicated viewers. It is an exclusivity that makes the architectural masterpieces we are viewing all the more special.
Beautifully framed and preserved behind glass, these treasures are sure to delight all who take the time to view them.
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Generally speaking, we deliver within a 250 mile radius of our store in Waynesboro Pennsylvania (Address: 11068 Buchanan Trail East Waynesboro PA). Our fees are per trip and based on mileage.
Outside of this 250 mile range, we’d be happy to work with the shipper of your choice.
Please feel to call us with specific delivery questions. We are happy to help. 717-375-8166.
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1. It is agreed that Bohemians and eBohemians.com is an online furniture and antique retailer, selling goods to consumers and that all items are being sold in as-is condition with no warranties or guarantees either expressed or implied. Bohemians makes every effort to accurately describe and photograph any and all items to the best of their ability. It is suggested that buyer make all inquiries and questions prior to committing to an online purchase. All items are available for preview and inspection at our showroom and all potential buyers are invited to come view and inspect prior to making final purchase. Buyers are welcome to hire or have their own third party make inspections of items prior to committing if they do desire.
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3. Specifically, but without limitation, Bohemians makes no representation or warranty that any of the lots conform to any standard in respect of safety, pollution or hazardous material, or fit for any particular purpose. Bohemians, sellers, or any member of their staff make no guarantee as to the authenticity, of any particular age, year of manufacture, model, make, mileage, hours, condition, or defect of any lot or item being sold. Buyers are encouraged to make their own physical inspection and rely solely on that inspection before purchasing. Failure to inspect does not negate that buyers responsibility in the act of online purchases.
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9. In the event of damage or loss, Bohemians will provide whatever documentation is necessary to help buyer receive insurance or reimbursement from shipping company.
10. Bohemians will allow for the return of any purchase within 14 days of payment for any reason and without prior approval. Purchaser just needs to contact Bohemians within 14 days of purchase. Bohemians must receive the returned items in the condition it was in when it left our premises and will inspect all Returns before refunds are processed. All returns are subject to a 15 % restocking fee. Shipping and delivery fees will not be refunded and additional fees will apply for return shipping.
11. Any purchased items that are paid for, but not picked up within 6 months of purchase will be resold and any monies received forfeited (unless prior arrangements have been made). We will gladly store and hold items for up to 30 days at no charge, after that a $45 for each month charge will be applied. This balance will need to be paid in order for any item to be removed from the premises.
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Bohemians llc, 11068 Buchanan Trail East
Waynesboro, Pennsylvania 17268 U.S.A
Updated by The Bohemians on August 7, 2017.