"Singing Wood" is a color woodcut by American master printmaker, Gustave Baumann (1881-1971). It was printed in 1928 and is from the first edition. It is pencil signed, titled, and editioned NO 27 of 120. "Singing Wood" was printed by the artist on cream Zanders laid paper with the Bergisch Gladbach watermark.
The reference for this work is Chamberlain 128: this impression is illustrated on page 358 in her book, "In A Modern Rendering The Color Woodcuts of Gustave Baumann: A Catalogue Raisonné." "Singing Wood" is number 90 in Baumann's inventory of his color woodcuts. For an explanation of the variations in the title, the blocks, and the colors or leaf used, we refer you to Chamberlain 128.
In late March 1928, Baumann began a road trip from Santa Fe, through the Sonoran Desert, to Southern California. The results of this trip were three color woodcuts of the desert and four color woodcuts of California. Baumann's letters to his wife, Jane, offer clues to his itinerary and the locales of the scenes depicted in his woodcuts. The location for the grove of Eucalyptus in "Singing Wood" is somewhere between San Diego and Los Angeles in Southern California. His letter divulges: "…well either I am crazy or I was crazy last year or this part of Cal. is really different from the Los A. blight further north—it's Eucalyptus trees are a different variety from those in Phoenix still more lacy and with the full moon shining through them. I almost enthused but I'll reserve that until the stuff is tucked into my portfolio—two weeks of flops make me a suspicious woman."
Baumann created twelve color woodcuts of the California landscape and their titles are:
"Coast Range," "Pelican Rookery," "Singing Wood," "Windswept Eucalyptus," "Redwood," "Sequoia Forest," "Point Lobos," "Monterey Cypress," "Song of the Sea," "Point Lobos Rock Garden," "Pacific Shoreline," and "Torrey Pine."