Mending the Seine
"Mending the Seine" is a color woodcut by American master, Gustave Baumann. It was printed in 1918 and is one of five color woodcuts that resulted from his visit to Provincetown on Cape Cod in the summer of 1917. The image measures 9-5/8 x 11-3/8". It is signed, titled, dated, and editioned no 23/100 in green ink. It bears his Swanli chop in the lower right. "Mending the Seine" was printed by the artist on cream Zanders laid paper with the Bergisch Gladbach watermark.
The reference for this work is Chamberlain 55: this impression is illustrated on page 213 in her book, "In A Modern Rendering The Color Woodcuts of Gustave Baumann: A Catalogue Raisonne." Baumann created 190 editioned color woodcuts and "Mending the Seine" is number 26 in his inventory.
Gustave Baumann was born in Magdeburg, Germany on 27 June 1881. Ten years later his family immigrated to the US, settling in Chicago. In 1896, Baumann began working in the commercial art field while saving money to study in Germany. After returning from Munich in December 1905 where he studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Baumann worked again in commercial art to support his family. In 1909, he discovered Brown County, Indiana where life was inexpensive and he could stay for three months. He produced a series of small format color woodcuts featuring the people and places of Brown County and then produced five large format color woodcuts. His woodcuts were accepted by the committee for the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition and he won a gold medal in 1916. Baumann headed east to Wyoming, New York in 1917 and taught at a summer school. From there he headed to Provincetown and New York City before returning to set up his studio in Wyoming. The southwest beckoned and he headed west in May 1918, stopping in Taos for the summer and fall. His funds were low and he needed to head back to Chicago but first stopped at the new art museum in Santa Fe to see a exhibition of his woodcuts. The rest, they say, is history.