1. Carroll Thayer Berry. (1886–1978) “White and Weatherworn–Maine Coast,” 1960.
Chiaroscuro wood engraving in black and linocut tone block in grey, unnumbered. 10 3/4 x 12 1/2." Sheet: 14 5/8 x 17 1/2." Also produced in a black and white version, same year. Signed, l.r. and titled, l.l. in ink. Bright and crisp. Excellent condition.
Price: $750. [ Order ]
“White and Weatherworn” along with “Symbols of a Past” were likely the first of Berry’s forty-six chiaroscuro prints. In “White and Weatherworn,” a lobster boat is the central feature of the scene, with a veritable stack of salt-box houses rising behind it. The pots are stacked and the men are at work on dry-docked boats. The image suggests that it is spring, when there is a lull in the Maine lobster take, and is a fine example of Berry’s intimacy with the seasonal tasks of Maine fishermen. This work dates from the post-1945 period in which Berry concentrated his creative force within the medium of printmaking. In “White and Weatherworn,” the mastery Berry achieved is evident. With simple forms and rich textures, the artist conveys the wonderful beauty of this simple fishing community.
Carroll Thayer Berry “. . . was a man of contradictions. His close friend, writer Lew Dietz describes him as ‘a romantic and a realist, a man who thought like an engineer and dreamed like an artist.’ Fortunately, the romantic and realist elements both benefited his art. . . After a varied career ranging from Chicago to the Panama Canal . . . Berry returned to his native Maine, where he could at last pursue his favorite activities: sailing and art. During his last thirty-five years, he also created the numerous wood engravings that form the base of his artistic reputation. These prints show Berry as a bold experimenter with color and form, drawing his inspiration from the landscapes and the people of Maine. . . Berry’s style of engraving, which consisted of bravura jabs at the block, gave his work that woodcut appearance, rather than the more engraved look often associated with the typical wood engraving. Because he worked with end-grain blocks, his major prints are technically wood engravings, although he made a number of woodcuts of considerable merit . . . During an earlier period (1935–40), he produced many linocuts, both in black and white and in color, some of them quite powerful . . .” — Elwyn Dearborn
“White and Weatherworn–Maine Coast” is held in the permanent collection of the Farnsworth Library and Museum.
Ref: Elwyn Dearborn, Carroll Thayer Berry (1983), no. 121.