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"Gustave Baumann (June 27, 1881-Oct. 1971) was an American printmaker and painter, and one of the leading figures of the color woodcut revival in America. His works have been shown at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, and the New Mexico Museum of Art. He is also recognized for his role in the 1930s as area coordinator of the Public Works of Art Project of the Works Progress Administration.
Born in Magdeburg, Germany, at the age of 10, he moved to the US with his family, and by age 17 he was working for an engraving house while attending night classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. He returned to Germany in 1904 to attend the Kunstgewerbeschule in Munich where he studied wood carving and learned the techniques of wood block prints. After returning to the US he began producing color woodcuts as early as 1908, earning his living as a graphic artist.
He spent time in Brown County, Indiana as a member of the Brown County Art Colony, developing his printmaking technique. He followed the traditional European method of color relief printing using oil-based inks and printing his blocks on a large press. This contrasted with the trend at the time of many American artists to employ hand rubbed woodblock prints in the Japanese traditional style. By this time he had developed his personal artist's seal: the opened palm of a hand on a heart. His Mill Pond is the largest color woodcut produced at the time. These were shown at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition where Baumann won the gold medal for color woodcut. In 1918, he headed to the Southwest to inquire into the artists' colony of Taos, New Mexico. Thinking it too crowded and too social, he boarded the train which stopped in Santa Fe. Its art museum had opened the previous year and its curator, Paul Water, persuaded Baumann to stay in Santa Fe.
In Santa Fe, Baumann became known as a master of woodcuts... "