George Elbert Burr. [Palm Canyon near Palm Springs, California.] Etching. 6 3/4 x 5. Signed in pencil. Old tape burn in margins and some paper mottling. Else, very good condition.
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An original signed etching by George Elbert Burr. Burr (1859-1939) was a prolific and well respected artist best known for his etchings and drypoints of the American West He was born in Munroe Falls, Ohio and briefly attended the Art Institute of Chicago for a semester, his only formal training as an artist. Despite his short education, Burr quickly became a respected commercial artist, producing images for established newspapers and magazines such as Harper’s Weekly, Scribner’s Magazine, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper and The Cosmopolitan. In 1892, Burr began an ambitious project to illustrate a catalogue of Heber R. Bishop’s collection of over a thousand jade antiquities for the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. After four years of work, Burr completed the project to rave reviews and was paid well enough to spend the next five years in Europe. When he returned to the United States, Burr became very ill with the flu and on the advice of his doctors moved to the “healthier air” of Denver. It was there that he developed his love of mountain and desert landscapes and spent the rest of his life making wonderful prints of his new surroundings. These prints became his most well known and most critically acclaimed works, with the New York Times declaring them “Gems of purest workmanship.” Today George Elbert Burr is widely considered to be one of the finest of the early 20th-century American etchers. His prints are in a number of prominent collections including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the British Museum, the French National Print Collection, Luxembourg Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, the New York Public Library and the Congressional Library in Washington, D.C.