Birds & Beyond: The Prints of Maurice R. Bebb
Hardcover Smyth-sewn casebound book, with jacket.
260 pages with more than 220 full-color reproductions and more than 20 photographs. Includes Essays, Chronology, Catalogue of Prints, and Index of Prints.
Size: 12⅛ x 9 in.
Artist Maurice Robert Bebb (American, 1891–1986), renowned for the prints of American birds he produced over five decades, didn’t turn to printmaking until later in life. Looking back, he mused, “I wanted to draw and paint for years and years before I had the nerve to dirty a piece of paper.” Largely self-taught, Bebb established a national reputation as an exceptional etcher. He created more than two hundred print designs and produced prints for the Chicago Society of Etchers, the Prairie Print Makers, and the Print Makers of California.
Bebb looked to other printmakers for guidance and inspiration, maintaining long friendships with etchers Charles Capps, Arthur Hall, Leon Pescheret, and F. Leslie Thompson. He took notes of their advice and of his own experiments with etching plates, and he kept meticulous records of his print editions. Many of his “printing keys” have provided the underlying structure for this catalogue raisonné.
In Birds & Beyond: The Prints of Maurice R. Bebb, former Bebb student Jim Harbison writes a warm-hearted account of making prints in the artist’s home studio. Cori Sherman North, curator to the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery, details a history of printmaking before 1950, setting the stage for Bebb’s work. And John R. Mallery, a collector of Bebb’s prints, provides a brief biography of the artist.