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Paul Landacre

Paul LandacrePaul LandacrePaul LandacrePaul Landacre

 

Landacre ('27) has carved out a hallowed space among preeminent printmakers of the 20th century. His prints and early linocuts can be found in more than 150 active public collections nationwide, and in numerous books on American printmaking and wood engraving. His wood engravings have been included in numerous exhibitions, including the 1939 New York Worlds Fair. The Silver Lake house he shared with his wife of 38 years is now designated as an Historic Building.

The land and sea of the American West, including the hills and mountains of Big Sur, Palm Springs, Monterey, and Berkeley. provided a fundamental inspiration for many of Landacre's linoleum cuts and wood engravings. His unique style included meticulously carved fine lines, delicate cross hatching, and flecking – all in white, that sharply contrast with richly blackened areas.

Landacre also taught wood engraving at USC, and Otis, and held memberships in the California Society of Etchers, California Print Makers Society, American Society of Wood Engravers, and the American Society of Etchers, Gravers, Lithographers and Woodcutters.

Landacre’s personal story is noteworthy. A promising track and field athlete at Ohio State University, Landacre was stricken with a streptococcus infection that rendered his upper body permanently and physically weakened. After graduation, he moved to the healthier climate of San Diego where he worked as a draftsman. To advance his drawing skills, Landacre relocated in 1923 to study at Otis, where he met Margaret McCreery, an advertising copywriter, and by 1925 they were married.

Feeling the call of printmaking, and eager to transition into fine art, Landacre taught himself the demanding art of carving linoleum blocks and, eventually, woodblocks for both wood engravings and woodcuts. He met and impressed Jake Zeitlin, who ran a bookshop that included a small gallery space; here Landacre had his first significant solo exhibition.