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Woodstock and Beyond: The Early Years of John Ward McClellan

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

By Patricia Phagan


EVENT NOTICE

OPENING

Grant Arnold and the Golden Era of Woodstock Lithography, 1930-1940

Woodstock School of Art,

Sat. Oct. 14th 2-4 p.m.

Followed by a demonstration

by Ron Netsky

BRUCE WEBER GALLERY TALKS:

Nov. 4th and Dec. 2nd – Both at 2 p.m.


John Ward McClellan is one of the outstanding artists featured in the exhibition Grant Arnold and the Golden Era of Woodstock Lithography, 1930-1940, on view at the Woodstock School of Art from October 14-December 9th. In honor of this occasion I asked art historian Patricia Phagan, former Philip and Lynn Straus Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, and author of the important publication Made in Woodstock: Printmaking from 1903 to 1945 (that accompanied an exhibition of 2002) to write the following essay on McClellan for Learning Woodstock Art Colony. Patricia dedicates her essay to the memory of her friend the artist Stuart Klein (1942–2023), who introduced her to the artist’s daughter, Suzan McClellan Whiting, of Woodstock, New York, in 2000. Essay © Copyright Patricia Phagan 2023. To acquire a copy of the Arnold catalog produced by the Woodstock School of Art (featuring my essay) click: https://woodstockschoolofart.org/product/grant-arnold-and-the-golden-era-of-woodstock-lithography-1930-1940-catalog/.

Fig. 1. John Ward McClellan, Self-Portrait, ca. 1934, photograph of charcoal drawing, Collection of Mary Browne. The location of the original drawing is unknown. ©️ Estate of John Ward McClellan


John Ward McClellan (Fig. 1) lived in the art colony of Woodstock, New York, from 1934 until his death in 1986. During those fifty-two years, he made a large body of prints and drawings, many projecting a strong sense of community often shaded with satire, social concern, or a world-weary sense of isolation and even mystery. In a list dated August 1984, the British-born artist documented over one hundred and thirty prints. Most of them are lithographs, and very early ones, during 1934–35, included the printer information, with the names of master printers Grant Arnold in Woodstock and George C. Miller in New York given. However, as he continued his tally, McClellan usually omitted the printer information. Miller does appear to have become his major printer, but this is an area that needs more research. On the other hand, two of his prints in the listing were drypoints, printed by Woodstock artist Ronau Woiceske in 1934.(1) He also made several linoleum cuts in 1949.(2)

Fig. 2. John Ward McClellan, Woodstock Christmas, 1936, lithograph, Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, Gift of Suzan McClellan Whiting, ©️ Estate of John Ward McClellan

Fig. 3. John Ward McClellan, Renaissance, 1939, lithograph, Collection of Suzan McClellan Whiting, ©️ Estate of John Ward McClellan


McClellan made his most well-known, critically-reviewed works in the 1930s and 1940s during an efflorescence of American printmaking. A one-person exhibition of his lithographs and charcoal and pencil drawings took place in 1938 at Grant Studios on MacDougal Street in New York. Howard Devree, art critic for the New York Times, pointed to the Woodstock artist’s “powerful draftsmanship” in both his drawings and lithographs.(3) During that decade and the next he won invitations to exhibit work in national and international group exhibitions. For instance, the distinguished etcher John Taylor Arms invited him to show his lithograph Woodstock Christmas (Fig. 2) at an American print show at the Venice Biennial in 1940.(4) In 1942 a writer for Art Digest praised his lithograph Renaissance (Fig. 3) when it was shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the exhibition Between Two Wars curated by Carl Zigrosser, curator of prints and drawings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.(5)

Fig. 4. John Ward McClellan, [Remembering the Concentration Camp], photograph of detail of drawing, ca. 1948, Collection of Suzan McClellan Whiting, ©️ Estate of John Ward McClellan

Fig. 5. John Ward McClellan, Cover for "I Name Thee Mara," by Edmund Gilligan, 1946, published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York


In World War II McClellan enlisted in the Army in the 71st Infantry Division, Division Artillery, with his infantry liberating a concentration camp in 1945 (Fig. 4). In his post-war years, he made a series of drawings with accompanying texts recalling these wartime experiences that he entitled Souvenirs of Aggression. In his later period, according to daughter Suzan, sculpture and mathematics became "all-consuming parts" of his life.(6) In particular, his sculptures––usually made of black walnut, according to his daughter––remain little-known, though the rare image provokes curiosity and a great need for scholarship. He still continued making prints, however, and, in general, simplified the compositions of his prints and drawings, and deepened his explorations of memory. Finally, he immersed himself in his own writing, in the work of Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, and in designing book illustrations, including a book jacket for Edmund Gilligan’s I Name Thee Mara, published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1946 (Fig. 5).

A full-scale, in-depth study of McClellan's work is lacking, and this essay builds upon a lecture the author gave at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum (WAAM) on September 22, 2012. Like the talk, the essay expands upon the limited literature on McClellan.(7) It especially examines works of art and archival material made available to me in 2012 by his daughter, Suzan, that helps to fill in factual details regarding his family background, student years, and stays in Paris, Mallorca, and Cuernavaca. Information on the provenance of works from the collection stems from conversations with her and others. The essay benefits enormously from study trips to see Suzan, in Woodstock, and to visits to her cousin Mary Browne and her late husband Steve in Berne, New York. My generous thanks go to them and to Heidi Browne Ricks. The author conducted additional research at WAAM.

Fig 6. Photographer Unknown, Nanny Ridler Giving John Ward McClellan His First Lessons, ca. 1910, Collection of Suzan McClellan Whiting

Fig. 7. Photographer Unknown, John Ward McClellan and His Father Robert McClellan, ca. 1910, Collection of Suzan McClellan Whiting


McClellan was born in 1908 in London to a well-to-do American family that lived at 96 Gloucester Terrace in Hyde Park and employed a nanny for the toddler (Fig. 6).(8) Of Scottish and Irish Protestant heritage, his father Robert McClellan (1867–1924) (Fig. 7) was manager of Foster, McClellan Company, at 8 Wells Street in London, and in Buffalo, New York. Co-founded by his brother Edwin (Yale, class of 1884) in 1898, the company managed the foreign interests of Foster Milburn Company of Buffalo, manufacturer for the very popular Doan’s kidney pills and other proprietary medical products.(9) The London office opened in 1899, and just a few years later won high praise with English advertisers for its superior advertisements for Doan’s pills.(10) Foster Milburn's European branches included Paris, Amsterdam, Milan, and Brussels.(11)

Fig. 8. Bachrach Photographers, Irene Moulton Ward McClellan, Mother of John Ward McClellan, Collection of Suzan McClellan Whiting, ©️ Bachrach Photography

Fig. 9. Photographer Unknown, The Glen, Green Lane, Northwood, Suburban Residence of John Ward McClellan and His Family after Bombings in London in WWI, ca. 1915, Collection of Suzan McClellan Whiting


In 1906 the artist’s father married Irene Moulton Ward (1881–1967) (Fig. 8) of the town of Cambridge, who in 1908 bore their first-born child, John, in London. The McClellan family lived comfortably in the city, but with the bombing of the capital during World War I, they moved to the northwestern suburbs to a house called The Glen on Green Lane in Northwood (Fig. 9).(12) John attended Northwood Preparatory School and then St. Lawrence Junior School, St. Lawrence College, Ramsgate, Kent.(13) In 1918 Irene McClellan was on the executive committee of the American Red Cross Workrooms in London, sharing responsibility for packing and shipping surgical bandages for the troops.(14)


The family made occasional visits to the United States, and at the age of fourteen, on July 28, 1922, John arrived at Ellis Island, New York, with his parents on the S. S. Aquitania.(15) They settled into their home in Cambridge, a town northeast of Albany, close to the New Hampshire border. John then attended boarding school at Salisbury School in Connecticut until 1925. (At that point, the young man made a self-portrait, lightly sketched in pencil, which is in the collection of Suzan McClellan Whiting). His parents pursued philanthropic activities. They donated the four-story Florence Nightingale Hall, a home for nurses on the Mary McClellan Hospital campus in Cambridge, which is now closed. Robert died in 1924, but Irene lived for decades afterwards and remained socially active. She was on the advisory committee of the hospital’s school of nursing, and on the board when the school became a department of Skidmore College. She was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.(17)


John Ward McClellan was admitted to Yale University in September 1926, and was dropped from the school in late November.(18) Given the medical interests of his family, members expected him to become a medical doctor and had given him a copy of Grey’s Anatomy to study. In time, however, he focused more on the drawings in the book themselves. Ultimately, he turned his attention to attending art school.(19)


McClellan attended art school in Boston in 1927–28 and 1928–29, according to extant report cards in the family's possession, and for perhaps longer. These years were key to his formation and direction as an artist, and to his becoming an enigmatic, socially conscious printmaker. He enrolled at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA), studying drawing from antique casts, perspective, theory of design, and theory of color during the first year. In 1928–29, he took courses in life drawing, anatomy, design, and construction drawing, a type of architectural drawing.(20)


During these student years McClellan also tried his hand at magazine illustration, a popular outlet for young artists, contributing drawings for an article in Stone and Webster Journal in May 1928 on the scenic architecture and canals of the city of Bruges.(21) In one work, he showed a strong awareness of the antiquarian topographical tradition and Venetian etchings of James Abbott McNeill Whistler, the American expatriate who had died in London in 1903 and was a major exponent of the etching revival.(22) While in Boston, he also began making sculptures and working among a close circle of student friends, including future first wife, Eleanor Mary Martin (b. New London, Connecticut, 1908).(23)

Fig. 10. John Ward McClellan, Untitled, 1928, etching, spit-bite aquatint, and burnished or varnished highlights, Collection of Suzan McClellan Whiting, ©️ Estate of John Ward McClellan

Fig. 11. Francisco de Goya (1746-1828), El Sueño de la razón produce monstruos (The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters), 1799, from the series Los Caprichos, etching and aquatint, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, State University of New York at New Paltz


During the time that McClellan was at the Boston school, the print department of the Museum of Fine Arts showed etchings and lithographs by Whistler and a wide range of prints by the Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco de Goya. A commemorative exhibition of etchings and lithographs by the renowned late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century pre-Romantic painter was installed at the museum by October 1926 and was still on view in April 1928 with two bound series, including Disasters of War, available for viewing in the department’s study room.(24). That same year, in 1928, McClellan made a dark, brooding experimental etching (Fig. 10) with spit-bite aquatint and highlights that is reminiscent of the Spanish printmaker’s lugubrious, visionary etchings with aquatint (Fig. 11).(25)


With a snake slithering out of a skull’s eye, McClellan’s subject suggests death, and the motif calls to mind the goggles and breathing tube of a British gas mask, a sign of his wartime youth in London. It is unclear, however, where or from whom McClellan learned the intaglio processes that he used in this early print. The school did not list printmaking techniques among its courses at the time, though the museum had a history of teaching etching and woodblock printing in association with the school, and it had two intaglio presses and a printing press for relief prints, along with tools, in its basement.(26) The museum also frequently emphasized techniques and their great masters in its many print exhibitions during this decade when the etching revival was still fashionable.(27) Shortly afterwards, McClellan actually represented the gas mask in his work.

Fig. 12. John Ward McClellan, Untitled, 1929, photograph of drawing, Collection of Mary Browne. The location of the original drawing is unknown. ©️ Estate of John Ward McClellan


The following year McClellan made a disquieting keyhole-like vignette (Fig. 12), with a woman reading to two children under a shielded light, while two gas masks hang on chairs, a tableau that perhaps drew upon memories or accounts of the German bombing of London when the artist was a boy.

Fig. 13. Mallorca


By the early 1930s, McClellan persisted in seeking out places and communities, as he had at art school in Boston, where artists gathered. It became a pattern. In 1932 he made charcoal drawings of a nightclub in Harlem, where races mixed while enjoying lively African-American culture.(28) That same year he traveled to Paris with his wife Eleanor Mary Martin. There he pursued training in sculpture for four months with the medalist and academic realist François Paul Niclausse at the Académie Julian, an art school popular with both American and European men and women.(29) After France the two traveled to Spain, settling in Mallorca (Fig. 13), the largest of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and south of the Catalonian capital of Barcelona on the mainland.

Fig. 14. Antonio Cánovas del Castillo y Vallejo, Portrait of Santiago Rusiñol, 1906

Published in El arte del teatro 1 (January 10, 1906): 7.


In the nineteenth century, Mallorca had sporadically attracted international and Catalan painters, writers, and musicians, including George Sand, Frédéric Chopin, John Singer Sargent, and Santiago Rusiñol (Fig. 14).(30) As the new century opened, a trickle and then a stream of modernist Catalans and expatriates came, including painter Rusiñol, writers Gertrude Stein and D. H. Lawrence, and the Dadaist Raoul Hausmann, among numerous others. They tended to gravitate to the capital city of Palma in the south or to villages and small towns along the northern coastlines. For instance, British poet Robert Graves and American feminist poet Laura Riding settled in the northwestern coastal village of Deià in 1929, developing a fertile literary environment that spawned a thriving art colony of diverse creative residents and visitors. On the other hand, the major Catalan modernist painter Hermenegild Anglada Camarasa (1872–1959) settled in 1914 in the Port of Pollensa, a small seaside town about forty miles northeast from Deià. The town boasted a bay that appealed to expatriate artists and writers enamored with its “ever-changing beauty,” recalled writer Douglas Goldring in his account published in 1925.(31)


On January 13, 1933, the McClellans registered in Pollensa, an inland town a few miles away from Port of Pollensa.(32) They were based in the area at least as late as June when an article in the Daily Palma Post reported that McClellan, “a sculptor of note,” and Martin, had recently welcomed an SMFA alumnus and sculptor as a guest to their Pollensa home.(33)

Fig. 15. Attributed to John Ward McClellan, Untitled, ca. 1933, oil/canvas over wood, Collection of Mary Browne, ©️ Estate of John Ward McClellan


In his paintings, the Paris-trained Barcelonan artist Camarasa swaddled the local scenery in deftly woven areas of color, reminiscent of a Nabis canvas by Vuillard. Camarasa was instrumental in contributing to a “Pollensa School” of Catalan modernism.(34) For McClellan, modernist painting of the local landscape seems to have caught his attention. While living in Spain, the young artist turned from sculpture to exploring the possibilities of modern painting with local subjects. Two unsigned paintings in the collection of Mary Browne appear to be from this period. In one, with a newfound energy and confidence, he interpreted the brilliant light and shadows of sun-baked architecture and narrow streets (Fig. 15).

By November 1933 McClellan had returned to the town of Cambridge and by the account of his friend, future textile designer Brooke Marsh Cadwallader, had become so absorbed with painting landscapes that he seriously considered becoming a painter. In an exchange of letters, his Boston art-school friend, however, urged him to go to New York City where opportunities flourished, and mentioned the possibility of the Ashcan School artist George Luks as a teacher.(35)

Fig. 16. Diego Rivera, Detail of Mural for Palacio de Cortés, Cuernavaca, 1929, Photograph by Benjamin Arredondo


Soon, however, McClellan traveled to Mexico on a “working trip” for a few months.(36) The country was attracting American painters and sculptors inspired by the revolutionary wall paintings and politics of the Mexican muralists created during the decade before. In the 1930s he also traveled to Cuba twice for a few months each time.(37)


While numerous American artists gravitated to the village of Taxco and to metropolitan Mexico City, McClellan lived in the tropical resort city of Cuernavaca, located at the edge of a forest south of Mexico City, that attracted Latin Americans as well as visitors from the U.S. and Europe. Among these crowds were artists, photographers, and writers drawn to witnessing for themselves the indigenous regional culture and the murals by Diego Rivera at the Palacio de Cortés on the Spanish conquest and Mexican revolution in Cuernavaca and the state of Morelos (Fig. 16).(38)


Commissioned in 1929 by the American ambassador to Mexico, Dwight Morrow, these murals and the patronage of the ambassador and his wife Elizabeth Reeve Cutter Morrow at their weekend home in Cuernavaca, attracted Mexican and expatriate artists and intellectuals.(39) The murals also attracted McClellan, as a book on them by Emily Edwards was in McClellan’s library in Woodstock.(40)

Fig. 17. Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964), Manuel Komroff, 1937, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection


Fig. 18. Present Day Walking Tour Map of Byrdcliffe


While in Cuernavaca, McClellan met Manuel Komroff (1890-1974), an American editor, short story writer, novelist, photographer and painter (Fig. 17), a native of New York City who lived in Woodstock, New York. No evidence has surfaced about how long Komroff was in Mexico, though, according to a report from Mexican Life, he had visited the magazine’s offices in April 1934.(41) As a youth he had taken an art class with Robert Henri and George Bellows at the Ferrer Center, a New York City school that attracted the political left, including anarchists and socialists, and independents.(42)


Komroff lived in Woodstock in the area of the arts and crafts colony of Byrdcliffe (Fig. 18), and while in Mexico he invited McClellan to come visit him for the summer.(43) By 1934, John had settled in the Woodstock art community, living first in a studio in Byrdcliffe that he rented from Peter Whitehead, son of Byrdcliffe co-founder Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead.(44)

Fig. 19. Grant Arnold At His Press, at Cottage on Rock City Road, 1936

Tyler Art Gallery, State University

of New York at Oswego


Since the early years of the twentieth century the Woodstock area, located in the Catskill Mountains of the Hudson River Valley, had been a bohemian magnet for creative thinkers, writers, artists, actors, and musicians, and it has always rejuvenated itself with successive waves of newcomers. When McClellan arrived for the summer of 1934, the American Scene aesthetic of visual stories told in a naturalistic style, dominated the local and national art worlds. The narrative-rich aesthetic thrived in Woodstock, which had earlier been home to the summer school of the Art Students League of New York, a leading art school. The aesthetic also thrived in prints made in the medium of lithography, a technique popular and accessible among Woodstock artists during the 1930s and 1940s due in part to the availability of master printers, including Grant Arnold (Fig. 19) at the Woodstock Artists Association, and George C. Miller at his workshops in New York and Vermont.(45)

Fig. 20. John Ward McClellan, The Storyteller (Manuel Komroff), 1934, lithograph printed by Grant Arnold, Collection of Suzan McClellan Whiting, ©️ Estate of John Ward McClellan

Fig. 21. John Ward McClellan, Woodstock Picnic, 1936, lithograph, Woodstock Artists Association and Museum, Gift of Suzan McClellan Whiting, ©️ Estate of John Ward McClellan


In his art McClellan kept an interest in the local countryside, but opted for shades of brown and black in these early years of the Great Depression in New York. He expanded his repertoire with lithographs and drawings of scenes on the streets and in homes, especially folksy small-town narratives and depictions of artist friends. In one early lithograph printed by Grant Arnold in 1934 (Fig. 20) he featured Komroff telling a story and entertaining his listeners. Moreover, these early works sometimes bear a satirical bent (Fig. 21), not unlike the clever, humorous prints of Peggy Bacon, who had lived in Woodstock the decade before, when satire enjoyed a golden age in cartoons and illustrations in American magazines and newspapers.

Fig. 22. John Ward McClellan, Christ in the Garden, 1934, lithograph printed by Grant Arnold, Collection of Suzan McClellan Whiting, ©️ Estate of John Ward McClellan

Fig. 23. John Ward McClellan, Golgotha, ca. 1935, charcoal, private collection, former collection of Suzan McClellan Whiting, ©️ Estate of John Ward McClellan


Gradually, however, McClellan re-introduced into his lithographs the sense of mystery and critical commentary that had haunted some of his student works. For example, in 1934 he made a fantasy-tinged lithograph printed by Arnold of a glowing Jesus-like figure walking through a busy city park (Fig. 22), unnoticed by people absorbed in their own private situations and thoughts. Moreso, current issues facing the international community, including Spain, found resonance in his lithographs and drawings at this time.


Reaching out, the artist sent some of his early lithographs to one of his Boston art-school friends, who encouraged him to continue with the medium, and believed the artist had finally found his preferred form of expression and a “new inspiration.”(46) These inspired critiques one senses in his prints and drawings were often wrapped within a peaceful setting where the narrative communicated the troubling or dire consequences of current politics and culture in both Europe and the U.S. This is poignantly seen in his drawing of Golgotha (Fig. 23) of a crowd of adults out in the country watching a hanging in the distance while innocent children and toddlers play. Here the artist calls attention to the spectacle of lynching and the role of white audiences. McClellan made the large charcoal drawing during the anti-lynching movement of the mid-1930s in the U.S.


After several sojourns to varied art communities, Woodstock proved to be the art colony where McClellan finally made his permanent home. Seven years before coming to the town in 1934, he had found empathy and camaraderie through his fellow students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where the etchings of Goya were evidently revelatory for him. The Académie Julian in Paris followed this period of study, and his work there reinforced his interest in figurative sculpture. A long stay in Spain, especially Mallorca, then ensued and revealed the possibilities of creating vibrant modernist paintings of the local scene and scenery. His working trip to Mexico furnished a crucial link to the art colony of Woodstock, where he lived from 1934 to 1986 at his death.

Fig. 24. Photographer Unknown, John Ward McClellan, ca. 1960, Collection of Mary Browne

Fig. 25. John Ward McClellan, Entrapped, 1936, lithograph, Collection of Suzan McClellan Whiting, ©️ Estate of John Ward McClellan

Fig. 26. John Ward McClellan, Hunting, 1940, lithograph, Collection of Suzan McClellan Whiting, ©️ Estate of John Ward McClellan


In Woodstock, McClellan (Fig. 24) became immersed in drawing and lithography, first in an American Scene homespun and gently satirical fashion featuring local landscapes and local get-togethers. Soon, with the rise of fascism in Europe and racial hostilities, drought, and economic depression in the U.S., serious moods with political, mysterious, and fearful edges are perceived repeatedly in his drawings and prints (Fig. 25). For these works and others the human figure became of pronounced, central importance, with nature often serving as a kind of buffer or a recurring, deep-rooted embrace (Fig. 26).


(1) “John McClellan, Prints, Aug. 1984,” typescript, Suzan McClellan Whiting Collection.

(2) Robert P. Conway, John McClellan: Prints and Drawings, 1927–1970 (New York: Associated American Artists, 1988), exhibition checklist, nos. 40, 42, 43, 45, 46, 48, 49, 52, and 53.

(3) Howard Devree, “A Reviewer’s Notebook,” New York Times, 18 December 1938.

(4) John Taylor Arms, Fairfield, Ct., to John McClellan, Woodstock, N.Y., 10 April 1940, Whiting Coll.

(5) “American Prints Between Two World Wars,” Art Digest 16 (15 March 1942): 24.

(6) John McClellan, Woodstock, N.Y., to Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles, 12 May 1983, Whiting Coll. Suzan McClellan Whiting in conversation with the author, 9 September 2023.

(7) For literature on the artist, see especially the 1988 checklist and chronology by Conway at Associated American Artists; and Stephen Coppel, The American Scene: Prints from Hopper to Pollock, exhibition catalogue, with the assistance of Jerzy Kierkuc-Bielinski (London: British Museum Press, 2008), nos. 56, 57, 58.

(8) Baby announcement card for John Ward McClellan, dated 20 May 1908, Whiting Coll.

(9) National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, “Edwin McClellan,” vol. 20 (New York: James T. White and Company, 1927), 80, and following unpaginated page (photographic portrait); Leonard M. Daggett, ed., History of the Class of Eighty-Four, Yale College, 1880–1914 ([New Haven]: Class of 1914, 1914), 247–49.

(10) T. Russell, “With English Advertisers,” Printers’ Ink, New York, vol. 39, no. 1 (2 April 1902): 25.

(11) “Library News: Jaffrey,” Bulletin of the New Hampshire Public Libraries, Concord, vol. 20, no. 2 (June 1924): 10.

(12) Margaret Ruff, “Medical World’s Loss––Art World’s Gain,” Catskill Mountain Star, Saugerties (11 December 1953), clipping, Woodstock Artists Association and Museum Archives.

(13) Northwood Preparatory School reports, Autumn 1917, summer 1918, summer 1920; The Junior School, St. Lawrence College, Ramsgate, reports, Michelmas 1920, summer 1921, Whiting Coll.

(14) “Irene Moulton Ward McClellan,” National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. 53 (New York: J. T. White and Co., !971), 557–58; “Workrooms Leaders,” American Red Cross Bulletin, London, no. 19 (11 December 1918): 7; The packing and shipping room of the big ARC workrooms in London is in charge of Mrs. Robert McClellan of Cambridge, N.Y., and Mrs. Robert Blackwell of Princeton, N.J., c. 1918, glass negative, American National Red Cross photograph collection, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C..

(15) https://www.familysearch.org, New York Passenger Arrivals Lists (Ellis Island), 1892–1924, v. 7187-7188, 26–28 July 1922, NARA Series T715, Roll 3148.

(16) “John McClellan Time Line,” Whiting Coll.

(17) “Mrs. Irene W. McClellan, Philanthropist, Dies at 85,” New York Times, 9 September 1967; National Cyclopaedia (1971), 558; M. M. Sutherland, “The Mary McClellan Hospital, Cambridge, N. Y., A Self-Contained Modern Institution,” Modern Hospital, vol. 23, no. 5 (November 1924): 407–12, 416; Ellen G. Creamer and William Bruce Talbot, “A General Hospital in Association with a College: How New York Post-Graduate Medical School and Hospital Co-Operates with Skidmore College in Nursing Education,” American Journal of Nursing, vol. 47, no. 6 (June 1947): 402–04; and Martha L. Moody, Lineage Book, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, vol. 54, 1905 (Washington, D.C., 1919), 399–400.

(18) Yale University, certificate for admission, 30 September 1926; Grades report, dated 22 November 1926, included the following: “Dropped 11/30/26,” Whiting Coll.

(19) Ruff 1953.

(20) Report for the Year 1927–1928, Report for the Year 1928–29, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Whiting Coll.

(21) L[azare]. Gelin, “A Dead City,” Stone and Webster Journal, vol. 42, no. 5 (May 1928): 662–75.

(22) Ibid, 669 (ill.); a photograph of the illustration is in the Whiting Coll.

(23) Copy of Certificate of Birth, Whiting Coll.

(24) “Notes,” Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, vol. 24, no. 145 (October 1926): 72; “Notes,” Bulletin of the Museum, vol. 26, no. 153 (February 1928): 17; and “Notes,” Bulletin of the Museum, vol. 26, no. 154 (April 1928): 34.

(25) I thank Felix Harlan of Harlan and Weaver Intaglio Workshop in New York who confirmed the technique of spit-bite aquatint for the grainy areas of the print, and burnishing or pre-etch varnish for the highlighted areas. Felix Harlan to Patricia Phagan, email, 21 August 2023. He also considered the print as experimental.

(26) Emil H. Richter, associate curator of the department of prints at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, taught a class in etching and woodblock-cutting in 1914–15 at the school. See School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Annual Circular, 1915–1916 (Boston, 1916), 7. On the presses, see F. C. [FitzRoy Carrington], “The Print Rooms,” Museum of Fine Arts Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 75 (3 February 1915): 28.

(27) Bulletin of the Museum, vol. 26, no. 153 (February 1928): 20, see “School of the Museum” for the description of the teaching program. For a more complete description of the courses and faculty, see School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Annual Circular, 1929–1930 (Boston, 1929). For a review and directory of British and American intaglio printmakers at the time, see Malcolm C. Salaman, ed., Fine Prints of the Year, An Annual Review of Contemporary Etching and Engraving, vol. 5 (London and New York: Halton and Truscott Smith, Ltd., and Minton, Balch and Company, 1927).

(28) Whiting Coll.

(29) See Léon Deshairs, “Paul Niclausse,” Art et Decoration, vol. 41, no. 241 (January 1922): 9–18.

(30) See Anett Jessop, “Geopoetics and Historical Modernism: Gertrude Stein, Laura Riding, and Robert Graves in Mallorca, 1912–1936,” in Adam J. Goldwyn and Renée M. Silverman, Mediterranean Modernism: Intercultural Exchange and Aesthetic Development (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 123–148; Jacqueline Waldren, Insiders and Outsiders: Paradise and Reality in Mallorca (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 1996), 23–25.

(31) Douglas Goldring, Gone Abroad, A Story of Travel, Chiefly in Italy and the Balearic Isles (London: Chapman and Hall, 1925), 41.

(32) Passport, John Ward McClellan, Whiting Coll.

(33) “On the Island,” Daily Palma Post, Palma, 29 June 1933, clipping, Whiting Coll. The guest was a sculptor friend, George W. Miller, who was his classmate in Boston and in Paris.

(34) Francesc Fontbana, “The Second Generation of Modernista Painters,” in William H. Robinson, Jordi Falgaàs, and Carmen Belen Lord, Barcelona and Modernity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), 55–56; Margaret Burgess, “Hermen Anglada-Camarasa,” in Robinson et al, Barcelona, 482 (biography).

(35) Pete Cadwallader, Mayon Mining Corporation, Camp Tambang, Manila, Philippine Islands, to John McClellan, November 1933, Whiting Coll. Cadwallader acknowledges that McClellan’s letter that he had just received was mailed from Cambridge, New York.

(36) “John McClellan: Biography,” typescript; “Applicant’s Narrative Statement” for the Counter Intelligence Corps of the U.S. Army, typescript, Whiting Coll.

(37) “Applicant’s Narrative Statement.”

(38) See James Oles, “Business or Pleasure: Exhibiting Mexican Folk Art, 1820–1930,” in Susan Danly, ed., Casa Mañana: The Morrow Collection of Mexican Popular Arts (Amherst: Mead Art Museum, 2002), esp. 23–28; Barbara Haskell, “América: Mexican Muralism and Art in the United States, 1925–1945,” in Barbara Haskell, ed., Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945, 14–16; and Sylvia R. Day, “John McClellan,” Creative Woodstock, series 1 (Woodstock, NY: Mead Mt. Press, 1966), 61, WAAM Archives.

(39) Oles, 11–12, 23. See also Anthony W. Lee, “Painting a Spark of Hope: Diego Rivera’s History of Cuernavaca and Morelos,” in Danly, 133–46.

(40) Emily Edwards, The Frescoes by Diego Rivera in Cuernavaca (México: Editorial “Cultura,” 1932).

(41) “Art and Personal Notes,” Mexican Life, Mexico’s Monthly Review, vol. 10 (May 1934): 39.

(42) Paul Avrich, Anarchist Voices: An Oral History of Anarchism in America (Edinburgh and Oakland, West Virginia: AK Press, 2005), 193, 200–03, 278.

(43) “John McClellan: Biography”; Day, 61. On Byrdcliffe, see, for example, Nancy E. Green, ed., Byrdcliffe: An American Arts and Crafts Colony, exhibition catalogue (Ithaca: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, 2004); and Maria Bauer, Beyond the Chestnut Trees, A Memoir (KCM Publishing, 2016).

(44) Day, 61.

(45) On printmaking in Woodstock, see the author’s Made in Woodstock: Printmaking from 1903 to 1945. Exhibition catalogue. Poughkeepsie: Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, 2002.

(46) [Gus], Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, to John, 17 January 1935, Whiting Coll.






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