This is an original etching, 11" by 16 1/2" (17" by 21" as framed), by American artist Kerr Eby (1889-1946). The title of the work is "Cattle Ford", and it was executed in 1945, in an edition of 100 apparently. Eby was born in Tokyo to Canadian missionaries but was in the United States by age 3. At 18 he went to New York City for art education, working for a lithographic firm to enhance his financial situation, gaining valuable experience that served him well later in life. Eby studied at the Art Students League and at Pratt Institute. He was invited to join the Cos Cob art colony in Connecticut (John Twachtman, Childe Hassam, and other notable artists of the time, working principally in the impressionist manner). Eventually due to his fine technical skills he came to be an assistant to Childe Hassam himself. During World War I Eby went to France and England, seeing combat and sketching scenes of war that, along with his stark Connecticut winter landscape prints, eventually came to be some of his best known works. Some of the works were developed into prints, and "The Black Cloud" (St. Mihiel, 1918) is his best known work, bringing thousands at auction when it appears. During World War II the artist once again saw combat action in the South Pacific and Tarawa, Bougainville and other islands in the heart of the action. Eby drew what he witnessed in charcoal, and these works are now in official Navy collections. He contracted a tropical disease during this period and declining health led to his death shortly after the end of the war. Eby's prints are highly sought after due to their artistry and the technical skill demonstrated. The present example is signed in pencil in the margin at lower right "Kerr Ebby" (yes, two b's), and on the framing paper on the reverse, in the same handwriting, is written "Snow Scene by Kerr Ebby". It appears to me from having compared the signature to known signatures that this example was NOT signed by the artist himself. Perhaps it was a proof and was signed by a relative---it is hard to say. There is an old framer's sticker from Detroit. However the print is most definitely a vintage, true etching, with the plate mark impression in the paper clearly present. The print is not laid down--is affixed at top edge only. There is rippling to the paper, as from moisture exposure, but no staining from moisture. The old mat seems to have caught the bulk of the moisture so it is stained and in need of replacement. .
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