Etching featuring a church campanile type tower in an urban setting, signed faintly in the plate on front right corner and signed in pencil in lower right margin "Messick". The print measures 9 1/2" by 7 1/4" inside the existing mat and 13" by 10 1/2" in simple black strip frame. The artist is apparently BENJAMIN MESSICK (1891-1981). I say that with slight hesitation because I have been unable to locate other etchings by the artist, who created many lithographs, but apparently, not etchings, which would make this a rare print indeed. The subject could well be St. Andrew's Church in Pasadena, California, but that is also not a certainty. Messick was born in the Missouri Ozarks and served in Europe in World War I. He showed early artistic talent. After his return he was in California, studying at Chouinard in Los Angeles, and winning scholarships and awards. He counted among his teachers Frank Tolles Chamberlin, Clarence Hinkle, and Pruett Carter. Through the 1930's and 1940's he developed a strong Regionalist style, and indeed came to be known as one of the west coast's foremost Regionalist artists, and a major figure on the Los Angeles art scene. Later he came to be a much-loved instructor at Chouinard and also in San Diego and Long Beach. After 1950 Messick's work took a sharp Modernist turn. More research could determine with more certainty that this is by Ben Messick; but indications strongly favor that being the case.
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