John Taylor Arms, one of the most important American printmakers of the first half of the Twentieth Century, believed that art could further the spiritual and moral improvement of mankind. He viewed printmaking—with its ability to create multiple fine copies of the same image—as a vehicle for disseminating images of subjects that would uplift and inspire contemporary society.
This print showing Église Saint Michel, Pont L’Évêque is part of Arms’ Churches of France series.
This work is one of only five made by Arms. Arms inscribed at the bottom:
“Sketch, Bury St. Edmunds – Impression from demonstration plate drawn, etched, and printed in two hours at Wells College, Aurora, NY, Sept. 27, 1940. / To Dr. and Mrs. Weld, with my compliments. / John Taylor Arms 1941”
Arms later made a second state of the plate, from which 13 impressions were drawn.
It goes almost without saying that this work could not have been drawn, etched, and printed in two hours’ time by anyone less than a true master. This work has been acknowledged as among Arms’ greatest accomplishments, both technically and artistically.