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Minnesota

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    London (printed)

  • Date:

    1947 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dehn, Adolf, born 1896 - died 1968 (artist)
    Baynard Press (printer)
    School Prints Ltd. (commissioned by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Frances Marks

  • Museum number:

    E.251-2006

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2G, shelf DR112, box MP343

Adolf Dehn came from Waterville, Minnesota. A caricature and satirical artist in the 1920s, he returned to America after a decade in Europe and it was then that began to take up landscape art, taking frequent trips back to his home in Minnesota for his subject matter.

Set up in 1945 by Brenda Rawnsley, the School Prints scheme commissioned well-known artists to create lithographs, which would then be printed in large numbers and sold cheaply to schools for display in classrooms; the aim was to give 'school children an understanding of contemporary art'. Each lithograph had a drawn frame so that the print could be pinned to the wall. In the spirit of post-war optimism, artists responded enthusiastically. The scheme was a unique attempt at giving children access to original works of art in a period of austerity but ended in 1949 because of financial problems. Many of the prints depict a familiar world of everyday rural or urban life, some presenting a version of the pastoral idyll and others scenes of entertainment or leisure.

Physical description

Colour lithograph showing a fresh and lively coloured country scene. A long straight road to the right leads to a church and village houses, red, pink and white, in the background. Farm buildings, in pinks and reds, stand on the left surrounded by a meadow with flowers, trees and grass, on which lies a cow, and a large thatched pigsty with pigs furrowing outside. A car is leaving the farm track and on the road stand a man in blue and a woman in a pink dress. The sky is blue with lots of white cloud. There is a plain grey border around the image.

Place of Origin

London (printed)

Date

1947 (printed)

Artist/maker

Dehn, Adolf, born 1896 - died 1968 (artist)
Baynard Press (printer)
School Prints Ltd. (commissioned by)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph

Marks and inscriptions

Printed in England at The Baynard Press for School Prints Ltd, London.
Bottom right margin

adolf Dehn 1947.
Bottom right of image, artist signature

"Minnesota" by Adolf Dehn (American) S.P.23
Bottom left margin

Dimensions

Height: 497 mm, Width: 760 mm

Object history note

Gift of Frances Marks, from her late father's collection

Historical context note

School Prints series was published in the 1940s. The idea behind the series was to commission established artists to create lithographs which could be editioned in very large numbers and sold cheaply to schools, for display in corridors, classrooms and assembly halls. The pupils would enjoy direct contact with new works of art. The entrepreneur, Mrs Brenda Rawnsley, wrote: 'We are producing a series of auto-lithographs, four for each term, for use in schools, as a means of giving school children an understanding of contemporary art.'

In the spirit of post-war optimism, the artists responded enthusiastically, and submitted sketches to the selection committee, chaired by Herbert Read, which included influential R.R. Tomlinson, London County Council Senior Inspector of Art. Many of the prints depict a familiar world of everyday rural or urban life, some presenting a version of the pastoral idyll (John Nash 'Harvesting') and others scenes of festivity (Barbara Jones 'Fairground'), entertainment (L.S. Lowry 'Punch and Judy') or leisure (John Tunnard's surrealist 'Holiday'). Each lithograph had a drawn frame around the image so that the print could be pinned to the wall.

Descriptive line

Colour lithograph, 'Minnesota', Adolf Dehn, School Prints series; London, 1947

Materials

Ink; Paper

Techniques

Lithography

Subjects depicted

Houses; Cow; Pigs; Woman; Church; Man; Car; Trees; Meadow; Farm buildings; Pigsties

Categories

Prints

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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