Midwest Modern: The Color Woodcuts of Mabel Hewit at the Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art has organized an exhibition that focuses on a little-known Cleveland artist, Mabel Hewit. Midwest Modern: The Color Woodcuts of Mabel Hewit features 76 works from the museum’s collection supplemented with loans from Mr. and Mrs. William Jurey, relatives of the artist, and a New York private collection. This show will inaugurate the opening of the museum’s new prints and drawings galleries on June 26, 2010 and continue through October 24, 2010.

Houses (detail), about 1936. Mabel Hewit (American, 1903–1984). Color woodcut; 23.7 × 35 cm. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Jurey in memory of Mabel A. Hewit 2003.366 © Mabel Hewit

Organized by Curator of Prints Jane Glaubinger, this is the first museum exhibition to explore the work of Mabel Hewit. Hewit learned to make white-line color woodcuts from Blanche Lazzell, the most important practitioner of the technique, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in 1933. Hewit worked in the medium throughout her five-decade long career. She created exuberantly colored, modernist woodcuts depicting diverse subjects, such as scenes of Provincetown and daily life and views of Saugatuck, Michigan, where she spent 16 summers studying at Ox-Bow, a summer art program. From 1950 Hewit traveled to Mexico, Guatemala, and the West Indies, locales that are also reflected in her work. In addition, she produced lithographs and watercolors, and she printed woodblocks on lengths of fabric, creating handsome textiles meant for home decoration. Hewit was aware of recent art trends and was influenced by Precisionism, Cubism, and Art Deco. Although her prints are naturalistic, several of the textiles are printed with abstract patterns.

Organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue for Midwest Modern: The Color Woodcuts of Mabel Hewit are made possible in part by the Print Club of Cleveland. The Cleveland Museum of Art is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this exhibition with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.


Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published.