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 Carl J Smalley  (early 20th century)

About: Carl J Smalley


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Lived/Active: Kansas      Known for: graphic art

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An art dealer. Carl Smalley was owner of Smalley’s, a shop that opened in his father’s feed store in McPherson, Kansas and eventually also had a location in Kansas City at 1122 Grand Avenue.

Smalley’s organized art exhibitions that were circulated throughout the region.  It had “a large stock on hand of contemporary American paintings, of several hundred etchings, woodcuts and lithographs, a good general book stock, Rookwood Pottery, Van Briggle Pottery, beautiful things from China, fine stationery, objects of art, greeting cards, favors, and other things of interest.”

For several years, the store published Smalley’s Art Bulletin, providing information on exhibitions and stock for sale. 

Carl Smalley himself was an honorary charter member of the Prairie 199 Print Makers.  He was a close friend of Birger Sandzén’s, often visiting Sandzén in Lindsborg, Kansas on Sundays, bringing with him a portfolio of prints by a staggering list of graphic artists ranging from Dürer and Rembrandt to Meryon and Zorn.

In 1916, Smalley introduced Sandzén to the art of lithography and was the publisher of Sandzén’s books, The Smoky Valley (1922) and In the Mountains (1925).  Smalley also published Sir Charles Holmes 1924), Ambrose McEvoy (1924), Henry Lamb (1924), Draughtsmen: Edna Clarke Hall, Henry Rushbury, Randolph Schwabe, Leon Underwood (1924), Sir Charles Holmes (1924), Charles Shannon (1924), Twenty-seven Drawings by William Blake (1925), Jacob Epstein (1925), Albert Rutherston (1925), and Stanley Spencer (1925).
Cliff Dwellers’ Club; Prairie Print Makers

Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Sandzén, Margaret. “John the Baptist of Art”, Kansas Magazine (1939); Mines, Cynthia. For the Sake of Art: The Story of an Art Movement in Kansas (1979)
This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

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