The rise of the monotype in America began in Florence in the late nineteenth century, where a group of American artists in the circle of Frank Duveneck regularly met and experimented with the medium. Though artists had produced works by this method nearly two centuries earlier, the Americans’ enthusiasm for the technique spread the monotype from Florence to America, and it was an American writing about it that gave it the name “monotype.” This exhibition traces the popularity of the monotype in America, defining the technique, elaborating on its refinements, and placing the artists into historical context.
Monotypes by important American artists including William Merritt Chase, Mary Cassatt and Maurice Prendergast, as well as Duveneck and the “Duveneck Boys” (who were among those experimenting with the technique in Florence) lay the groundwork for the resurgence of the medium. The breadth of monotype’s popularity in the United States goes through the 20th century and is shown in the exhibition with examples by such artists as Joseph Stella, Milton Avery, Red Grooms, and Mark Tobey.
IMAGE: George Elmer Browne (American, 1871–1946), Mule Train, ca. 1914, monotype, Heckscher Museum of Art, gift of the Baker/Pisano Collection, 2001.9.38