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color woodblock print; self-carved and self-printed by the artist (perhaps with his brother, W. Corwin Chase), titled and signed in pencil, “Nomad” Waldo S. Chase, ca. mid 1920s-30s
14 3/8 by 10 in., 36.5 by 25.3 cm
Waldo S. Chase, and his brother, Wendell Corwin Chase (1897-1988), were born and raised in Seattle, Washington. The brothers, both painters, began experimenting with woodblock prints in the summer of 1924, and continued to produce prints for approximately ten years. They claimed to have taught themselves color woodblock printing with the help of Frank Morley Fletchers manual, Woodblock Printing by the Japanese Method published in 1916, but they also received some instruction from the renowned Japanese printmaker (artist and carver) Yamagishi Kazue (ca. 1893-1966) who visited Seattle in 1927.
The brothers were rather eccentric, living and working out of teepees of their own design in the 1920s in the areas of Mount Rainier and the Cascade Range, Hood Canal in the South Puget Sound region, and Lake Washington in Seattle.
Woodblock prints by either brother are scarce. The few extant impressions of this composition, in a blue palette, are variously dated 1927, 1931, and 1932. This red palette appears to be a previously unknown variant.
Kreisman and Mason, The Arts and Crafts Movement in the Pacific Northwest, 2007, pp. 306-307
Highlights of Japanese Printmaking: Part Three – The International Perspective, Scholten Japanese Art, 2008, no. 40 (blue palette, signed and dated ’32)
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (art.famsf.org), accession no. 1991.1.16 (blue palette, signed and dated 1927)