Fine-arts Etchings of James David Smillie, 1833-1909 a Catalogue Raisonné
|Author: ||Witthoft, Brucia|
This volume contains a biography of James D. Smillie emphasizing events relevant to Smillie's career as a printmaker. The content and methodology of the catalogue is explained in an introduction. The catalogue consists of 119 entries: 109 numbered prints corresponding to the artist's own list, and ten interpolated works, extant or known to have existed.
". . . a careful, scholarly, but also stylish and entertaining examination of the life of an American etcher who played an important role in the American etching revival of the 1880's. . . . The biography contains intimate details, the kind of details that you would wish to have, about his artistic planning, thinking, and carrying out of various projects. . . . The catalogue raisonné which follows the biography of Smillie and a brief chronology is workmanlike and detailed. It will be used for many years to come by scholars, curators, and print dealers. People will find this book indispensable but they will also go back to it for the larger insights of art historical scholarship. It contains detailed references of a most useful kind in footnotes and bibliography." - Sinclair Hitchings, Keeper of Prints, Boston Public Library
"Witthoft's book-length study is an important contribution to our understanding of the seminal role he [Smillie] played in the etching movement. . . . enriched with information drawn from the unpublished archives of the American Bank Note Company where Smillie worked as a designer and engraver. Another useful part of Witthoft's catalog is the information she has included about the several printers who worked for Smillie, a technical aspect of 19th century printmaking about which there is a pressing need for more information. . . . She has set a standard for the host of comparable studies that need to be published on many other printmakers whose contributions to the American etching revival are imperfectly known or understood." - Paul D. Schweitzer, Museum of Art, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute