Ralph Pearson


Ralph Pearson (1883 – 1958) Taos Pueblo drypoint etching – approx. 6 x 10″ image, original frame, toning – pencil signed 116/125 Verso is a note, possibly from the artist January,1920, part of an exhibit at the Chicago Art Institute. $50 I believe that this is a rare first state edition. sold

An accomplished American etcher of the early twentieth century, Ralph M. Pearson was born on May 27, 1883 in Angus, Iowa. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, under Charles Francis Browne and John Vanderpoel. In 1911 he produced a series of etchings of workers in Chicago.

He was one of the earliest printmakers in New Mexico, settling in Taos about 1915. During his distinguished career his etchings received awards from the Chicago Society of Etchers (1914); the Panama Pacific Exposition, San Francisco (1915); the American Bookplate Society (1917); and the California Print Maker’s Society (1922).

Ralph Pearson was a full member of the Art Students League of Chicago, the Chicago Society of Etchers, the New York Society of Etchers, California Art Club, the California Society of Etchers and the Brooklyn Society of Etchers.

Pearson died in South Nyack, NY in 1958.

Ralph Pearson’s etchings are included in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Art Institute of Chicago, Mobile Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art, and Columbia University. Ralph M. Pearson was also an influential writer on the arts and was the author of such books as How to See Modern Pictures (1925), Fifty Prints of the Year (1927), The New Art Education (1941), and Experiencing American Pictures (1943)

An important element of Pearson’s etched work was his painterly approach to etching. Dismissing many traditional values of the day, he was one of the first American etchers to emphasize formal relations and key elements of design.

Written and submitted by Ann Harlow, Independent Scholar

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