August 31, 2018. Research compiled and drafted by Stephanie Geller, MLIS UCLA 2019; Edited by Dawn Aveline, Preservation Officer, UCLA Library; Photographs by Dawn Aveline and Stephanie Geller
The provenance of a woodblock dating to the 1930s and used as a letterhead for the Haynes Foundation was the subject of research conducted at the Paul Landacre Archive at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. The research found multiple stylistic similarities between the woodblock and Landacre’s other work, a copy of a pamphlet from the Haynes Foundation bearing the letterhead in a box of Landacre ephemera, and, most conclusively, an entry for the purchase of a letterhead by the Haynes foundation on December 6th, 1938. The purchase was likely prompted by Remsen Bird, president of Occidental College and Haynes Foundation board member in 1938.
In June 2017 Mr. William Burke, Administrative Director of the Haynes Foundation, contacted UCLA Library Development with an interesting query: to identify the provenance of the illustration of Dr. Haynes’ home. The illustration served as the Foundation’s logo on official letterhead during its early history. The Foundation held two versions of the design in block form, one a woodcut and the other a metal printing block evidently reproduced from the woodcut design. It was decided to put together a formal project to perform provenance research in hopes of identifying the artist behind the depiction. In addition, the project would include the design and fabrication of a custom enclosure to house and protect the two blocks. The blocks depict the façade of the Haynes’ Los Angeles home, designed by architect Robert D. Farquhar. The home was constructed in 1912 and demolished in the early 1950s to make way for the Harbor Freeway. The image of the house was featured on the Foundation’s letterhead beginning in the late 1930s, and remains an important part of the history and heritage of the organization. It was suggested that the well-known and celebrated Los Angeles artist Paul Landacre created the image, although this had been uncorroborated. The goal of the project, then, was to use archival documentation, particularly the Paul Landacre Archive at The William Andrews Clark, Jr. Memorial Library. One of the clues guiding our search centered on the theory that Dr. and Mrs. Haynes had been introduced to Landacre through Farquhar, who had designed Library building for William Andrews Clark, Jr.
ABOUT PAUL LANDACRE
Born in Ohio in 1893, Paul Landacre had been a promising athlete with a sports scholarship to attend Ohio State University when he suffered a severe streptococcus infection that left him permanently handicapped with limited mobility. The illness ended his university career due to the loss of his scholarship but spurred his departure from the Midwest. In search of the health benefits of a milder climate, in 1917, twenty-three year old Landacre moved to Southern California. Soon after settling in Los Angeles, he met Margaret McCreery, and in 1925 they married. Margaret was enormously influential in Landacre’s life, encouraging him to pursue his artistic interests, supporting him financially in the early years, running both the household and the business affairs, and aiding Paul physically with his everyday needs. Margaret had been working as a secretary for local bookstore owner and gallerist Jake Zeitlin, and she introduced the two in 1929. Zeitlin recognized Landacre’s talents and also supported his artistic endeavors, encouraging him to learn about the history of printmaking through the works of artists old and new, showcasing Landacre’s prints in his shops, and offering him his first one-man show in 1930.1 Landacre met another of his benefactors, Delmer Daves, in Zeitlin’s shop in the early 1930s. In 1936 Zeitlin and Daves established the Landacre Foundation wherein each of its 12 members contributed $100 in exchange for a new Landacre print each month. Landacre, Zeitlin, and Daves participated in a number of artistic social clubs then in existence in the Edendale neighborhood, a district of Los Angeles encompassing Echo Park, Los Feliz, and Silver Lake, which boasted a large artist community.2 One of these groups was the Rounce & Coffin Club; established in 1931 at Zeitlin’s home in Echo Park. Named for parts of the hand press and devoted to fine printing, its membership grew to include UCLA librarians Lawrence Clark Powell, Andrew Harlis Horn, and Robert G. Vosper.3 Printer and book designer Ward Ritchie, with whom Landacre worked extensively, was a founding member. Landacre was a good fit for this club as he was an unusual woodblock artist at this time, not only carving his images but also printing almost all of his own work on a 19th-century Washington Hand Press, which he had painstakingly restored.4
Similarity of Work
Landacre’s well-documented stylistic elements--heavy use of black, stark contrast, and rays of light radiating from the central subject--are immediately recognizable in the Haynes letterhead. Emanating rays can also be seen in works such as his 1935 engravings of Mozart and Brahms, Anna (1938), and particularly in Monday (1934) which also features a building with a halo of light emanating from it. Although not a common subject of his work, the stylized use of trees as a framing device is observable in Landacre’s depiction of buildings. Most similar to the Haynes home depicted in the letterhead is the engraving he did for a pamphlet for Occidental College which features a single building (Thorne Hall) flanked by two identical trees (see images on next page). A bookplate designed for George Cukor in 1937, The Enchanted Cottage (1944), and Landscape with Ranch and Trees (n.d.) all exhibit a similar use of trees to frame a building.5 Landacre Wood Blocks Mixed Materials 20 & 21 Like most wood engravers, Landacre preferred boxwood for his engravings which is a heavy, fine-grained hardwood.6 This matches the material of the Haynes woodblock as described by the conservator. While this does not trace the block to Landacre, had it been made from another material it could have raised doubt as to whether the woodblock came from his studio.
Mixed Materials 12, Folder 5: Landacre ephemera
A Haynes Foundation pamphlet is included in box of “Reproductions of Landacre artwork in ephemeral pieces.”7 An imprint of the woodblock in question is prominently located at the head of the first page of the pamphlet.8 A comparison with the woodblock reveals that the impression is inversely identical, confirming the woodblock was used for the impression. The finding aid for the archive has since been updated to include the Haynes Foundation pamphlet in the description of items in this folder.
Mixed Materials 14, Folder 1: Account Books January 1934-April 1963
Phillip Palmer, the Head of Research Services at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, located with uncanny speed a reference in one of Landacre’s four preserved account books to a $25.00 payment on December 6th 1938, from the “Haynes Found.” for a letterhead.9 Records appear to be written in Margaret McCreery’s hand with manuscript notes in pencil by the same hand.10 The books record hundreds of transactions over multiple decades including many other examples of commissions for similar work such as book plates, Christmas cards, and pamphlets. Correspondence No correspondence to or from the Haynes Foundation was found in the Landacre Archive, nor were there any materials supporting a connection between Landacre and the Haynes house architect Robert D. Farquhar. The Landacres did, however, have personal contact with Robert Cleland,11 Vice President and Dean of Men at Occidental College during this time, and a close colleague of Remsen Bird who briefly served as president of the college during Bird’s six-month leave of absence in 1927.12 The abundance of correspondence, organized alphabetically by last name or institution, would facilitate a network analysis of Landacre’s social and professional circles, especially if combined with research with the Zeitlin Papers archive at UCLA and Ward Ritchie’s archives at the Clark and at Occidental College.13
Research beyond the Landacre papers
Documents in the Landacre archive revealed several potential connections between the Haynes Foundation and Paul Landacre through Haynes Foundation Board Members. Remsen D. Bird, Anne M. Mumford, and Ethel Richardson had ties to Occidental College, while Clarence A. Dykstra and Charles G. Haines were connected to UCLA. Landacre’s close associates in the realm of fine press printing were themselves prominent at these institutions, with Ward Ritchie at Occidental and Lawrence Clark Powell, Andrew Harlis Horn, and Robert G. Vosper at UCLA. The strongest link can be established between Ward Ritchie and Remsen Bird. Then the president of Occidental College, Bird regularly visited Ritchie in his studio and had, on one occasion, suggested to him the need for an artistic club where “the artists of southern California [could] get together and stimulate one another — to talk, to transfer ideas.”14 ‘The Club’, as it came to be called, held its first meeting on June 2nd, 1937 and counted Powell, Ritchie, and Landacre among its eleven attendees. The club met weekly on Thursday nights for a sketch class with a live model. Bird also had business dealings with Jake Zeitlin15 who could have easily facilitated commissioning of the woodcut. That Bird would have been familiar with Landacre’s work can be assumed as Landacre had exhibits at Occidental College 1934, 1938, and 1953.16
The Haynes Foundation woodblock engraving of the former home of John Randolph and Dora Haynes was conclusively found to be the work of Paul Landacre on the basis of the financial record and inclusion of a pamphlet bearing a print of the engraving. The clear stylistic similarities between the woodblock and Landacre’s other work as well as the block being a wood preferred by Landacre further support this conclusion.
- Hurewitz, Daniel. Bohemian Los Angeles and the Making of Modern Politics. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2008.
- Lehman, Anthony L. Paul Landacre: A Life and a Legacy. Los Angeles: Dawson, 1983.
- Zeitlin & Ver Brugge, Booksellers. Paul Landacre : Wood Engravings : Prints, Drawings, Original Blocks from the Estate. Los Angeles, CA: Zeitlin & Ver Brugge, 1986.
- “Landscape with Ranch and Trees” and “The Enchanted Cottage,” listed as “Farm House,” can both be found in: Zeitlin & Ver Brugge, Booksellers. Paul Landacre : Wood Engravings : Prints, Drawings, Original Blocks from the Estate.
- Lehman, Anthony L. Paul Landacre: A Life and a Legacy. Los Angeles: Dawson, 1983; Bourrie, Sally Ruth. “The Art of Paul Landacre.” In Paul Landacre, Prints and Drawings: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Ahmanson Gallery, August 25-November 6, 1983, edited by Phil Freshman, 7-11. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1983.
- “Finding Aid to the Paul Landacre Archive, ca. 1915-1983.” (Press Coll. Landacre). William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.
- “Landacre ephemera, Paul Landacre Archive, ca. 1915-1983.” (Press Coll. Landacre). William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.
- “Account Books January 1934-April 1963, Paul Landacre Archive, ca. 1915-1983.” (Press Coll. Landacre). William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.
- A comparison of hands between the accounts book and personal correspondence points to Landacre’s wife, Margaret McCreery, being the recorder of transactions. This conclusion is strengthened by Landacre’s statement that his wife Margaret was “Chancellor of the Exchequer” among other things. (Stewart, Virginia. “Melodic Ideas in a Refined Art,” Los Angeles Times, February 9, 1958, Home Setion, p.47)
- Cleland wrote to Margaret on May 1, 1934 expressing how much he enjoyed visiting them recently and offering to help her brother in regards to his financial situation and studies. He wrote again to Paul after commencement expressing his enjoyment of the engravings exhibition. The secretary to the commencement committee (Agnes Hurlburt?) prior to the exhibit requesting a list of engravings he would display and providing him with some logistics. From “Correspondence - O: miscellaneous, Paul Landacre Archive, ca. 1915-1983.” (Press Coll. Landacre). William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.
- Rolle, Andrew F. Occidental College, the First Seventy-five Years, 1887-1962. Los Angeles: Occidental College, 1962.(Printed by Anderson, Ritchie & Simon)
- “Jake Zeitlin Papers (Collection 334).” UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA; “Ward Ritchie Papers, ca. 1930-1978.” William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles; “Ward Ritchie collection,” Consult repository, Special Collections Department, Occidental College Library, Occidental College.
- Ritchie, Ward, and Elizabeth I. Dixon. Chronological bibliography of books and articles by Ward Ritchie Angelico, and Los Angeles Oral History Program University of California. Printing and Publishing in Southern California Oral History Transcript. [Los Angeles] : Oral History Program, University of California, Los Angeles, 1969, p. 446-7. https://archive.org/details/printingpublishi00ritc.
- “Finding Aid to the Jake Zeitlin Papers (Collection 334).” UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA. Yet unprocessed bookstore files (Box 245, Folder 8-10) contain correspondence, manuscripts, and ephemera exchanged between the two and Zeitlin Office Files (Box 409, Folder 35) have exchanges between the two from 1939-49.
- Landacre’s engravings were on exhibit in the Women’s Lounge of the College Union, June 8-11, 1934. They were also on display in for the first exhibition held in the lobby of Thorne Hall beginning on November 9th, 1938. Commencement pamphlet and letters from Robert Cleland. From “Correspondence - O: miscellaneous, Paul Landacre Archive, ca. 1915-1983.” (Press Coll. Landacre). William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles, and “Finding aid to the Paul Landacre Archive, ca. 1915-1983.” (Press Coll. Landacre). William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.
We wish to thank Philip Palmer, Head of Research Services at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, for his assistance with this project.
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