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Bertha Clausen Jaques. 1863-1941

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Bayonet rush. (jointed bog rush. Juncus militaris). 1932. Drypoint. Jaques 410. 13 3/4 x 4 (sheet 16 5/8 x 8 1/4). A rich impression printed with plate tone on Japanese mulberry paper. $150.

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Narcissus. 1927. Drypoint. Jaques 343. 8 13/16 x 4 7/16 (sheet 10 1/2 x 8). Printed with plate tone on Japanese mulberry paper. Scattered foxing. Unsigned. Housed in a 16 x 20-inch archival mat, suitable for framing. $500 the pair.

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Bertha Clausen Jaques was an influential American printmaker in the early twentieth century. She saw an exhibition of the new French etchings at the Chicago Columbian Exposition. Subsequently, she bought a copper plate at the hardware store. She found wax, pitch, and nitric acid. She wrapped a paint roller with leather and located an old dentist's drill. Her physician husband helped her fashion etching equipment from surgical tools. Later, she got a press from Milwaukee. Then, in 1897, she created some of the first etchings in the Midwest.

Jaques collaborated with Helen Hyde while she was in the Orient. Jaques was the author of Concerning Etchings (1912), Country Quest (1936), and Helen Hyde and Her Work, An Appreciation (1922).

She was a founder of the Chicago Society of Etchers , that held its first exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute. The society became the model for other etching societies, making fine prints available to a broad and receptive public. In forty-seven years, the Chicago Society of Etchers exhibited least 40,000 prints across America.

An active printmaker, Bertha Jaques created over 400 etchings and drypoints. None of her works was printed in a large edition. Landscape and botanical images predominate. She experimented with color and technique, applying color by hand, and making counter proofs (which she termed 'ghost prints'). She knew the Latin botanical names of most of the plants, and found beautiful specimens as models. She also used plants to make cyanotypes, and was an early experimenter in the medium.

Bertha Jaques left a creative legacy as mentor, organizer, writer and printmaker.

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Orientalist Fine Prints.

Allinson Gallery Index

American Fine Prints.

Prints $175 and under.

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