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 Herschel C. Logan  (1901 - 1987)

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Lived/Active: Kansas/California/Missouri      Known for: woodcut landscape prints, illustration

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born Magnolia, MO, April 19, 1901; died Santa Ana, CA, Dec. 8, 1987. Etcher. Engraver. Blockprinter. Illustrator. Graduated from Winfield High School in 1920. Studied at Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and at the Federal School Incorporated.

Was a pupil of C. A. Seward, Wichita. From 1931-1967, Logan was Art Director of Consolidated Printing and Stationery Company in Salina.

Twelve original woodcuts by Logan illustrate Everett Scogrin’s 1928 book Other Days in Pictures and Verse. Between 1921-38, Logan produced nearly 140 prints, but he then essentially gave up printmaking. He became a noted authority on antique firearms and published miniature books.
Honorable mention, Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1933; Third prize, Midwestern Artists Exhibition, 1937.

Sandzén Memorial Art Gallery; Beach Museum of Art; Topeka Public Library

Charter member Prairie Print Makers; California Print Makers; Wichita Art Guild; Salina Art Association; Rocky Mountain Print Makers; Prairie Water Color Painters.

Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Sain, Festival of Kansas Arts and Crafts. Catalog: Arts and Crafts of Kansas: an Exhibition held in Lawrence, Feb. 18-22, 1948 in the Community Building. Lawrence: World Co., 1948; Reinbach, Edna, comp. “Kansas Art and Artists”, in Collections of the Kansas State Historical Society. v. 17, 1928. p. 571-585.; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition (Kansas City: Kansas City Art Institute, 1920-1942 Mines, Cynthia. For the Sake of Art: The Story of an Art Movement in Kansas. s.l. Mines, 1979.) 1924-27, 1930-31,1933-37, 1939-40; Wichita Eagle (Dec. 11, 1987); AskArt,, accessed Dec. 16, 2005; Illustriana Kansas (Hebron, NB, 1933); Lehman, Anthony L. Herschel Logan: Man of Many Careers. (Los Angeles: Westerners, Los Angeles Corral, 1986); TPL
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.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An engraver, designer, illustrator and writer, Herschel Logan was born in Magnolia, Missouri, and from 1929, lived in Salina, Kansas where from 1931 to 1967, he was the Art Director of Consolidated Printing and Stationery Company. He studied at the Chicago Academy of the Fine Arts and in Kansas, was a member of the Prairie Printmakers.

From 1921 to 1938, according to Who Was Who in American Art by Peter Falk, Logan "created nearly 140 images as woodcut prints, mostly of Kansas landscapes." He also did illustrations for gun publications such as Hand Cannon to Automatic (1944) and Cartridges (1948).
Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards):
Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1924; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1925; 1st Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941), 1925; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1926; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1927; 17th McPherson Exhibition (Catalogue of the Annual Art Exhibit. McPherson: McPherson High School Press, 1911-35) 1927; 5th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition 1929; 6th Annual Kansas Artists Exhibition (Topeka: Mulvane Art Museum, 1925-1941) 1930; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1930; 7th Annual Kansas Artist Exhibition 1931; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1931; 8th Annual Kansas Artist Exhibition 1932; 9th Annual Kansas Artist Exhibition 1933; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1933; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1934; Midwestern Artists’ Exhibition, 1935. Midwestern Artists Exhibition, 1936; Midwestern Artists Exhibition, 1937; Midwestern Artists Exhibition, 1939; Midwestern Artists Exhibition, 1940.
Charter member Prairie Print Makers; California Print Makers; Wichita Art Guild; Salina Art Association; Rocky Mountain Print Makers; Prairie Water Color Painters.

Biography from Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery:
Herschel C. Logan
(1901- 1987)

Born in Magnolia, Missouri and reared from early childhood on a farm near Winfield, Kansas, Herschel Logan was surrounded by common things and found them beautiful.

Logan is distinguished among Midwestern artists for the force and vitality of his woodcut prints. He had never heard of woodcuts until he became employed in the art department of a Wichita printing company. He spent a year in the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, taking all the drawing he could get in by day classes and studying by correspondence at night. He was also an eager student of design.

By chance a customer of a Wichita printing firm urged Logan to go talk to Mr. C. A. Seward (1884-1939). That very evening he went to see Seward and learned for the first time about the making of woodcuts. The next day he set out to find a piece of cherry wood. Putting a fine edge on his pocket knife, he made his first woodcut print.

The Kansas landscape he found along the roadside became the subject for many of his prints. Blazing sunlight effects in summer, falling snow and drifted farmsteads in winter are found in his prints. He often masses areas of black in contrast to splashes of light.

As a founding member of the Prairie Print Makers Society, Herschel Logan (1901 – 1987) was recognized among his peers as one of the foremost printmakers in Kansas when the group was founded in 1930. Over his lifetime, Logan’s woodcuts received more than thirty prizes in art exhibitions throughout the region and U.S. They are represented in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, New York Public Library and other esteemed institutions.

Herschel Logan was born April 19, 1901 in Magnolia, Missouri, but spent the majority of his childhood in Winfield, Kansas. In 1920, he studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and returned to Kansas the following year, working for seven years as a commercial artist at McCormick-Armstrong in Wichita. It was while at McCormick-Armstrong that Logan became acquainted with printmaker C. A. Seward. Seward encouraged Logan’s progress in printmaking, and the two remained friends until Seward’s death in 1939.

Logan’s method of creating a woodcut is best documented in the book, Herschel Logan: Man of Many Careers by Anthony Lehman. He writes, “working either from photographs or field sketches, he would first make a rough outline on the block using tracing paper, then ponder the initial design for several days. After his imagination and innate artistic sense had a chance to function, the completed picture – which had largely evolved in his mind – was then realized on the wood.” Generally, his editions numbered 50 prints.

Logan made approximately 140 woodcuts from 1921 to 1938. In the early 1930s, he was named Art Director for Consolidated Printing in Salina and remained there until his retirement in 1967.

Throughout his life, he was active in civic and service organizations, including the Masons and Rotary International. He was an authority on antique firearms, the Civil War, and active in the National Rifle Association – writing a monthly article for the National Rifleman magazine from approximately 1945 to 1965. He also created a cartoon called “the Colonel Says” that ran in the Salina Journal and was sponsored by Consolidated Printing. After he retired, Logan moved to Santa Ana, California, and began printing miniature books using a Baby Reliance Press.

He died in Santa Ana in 1987.

Although he created a limited amount of woodcuts, he established a reputation as one of the finest masters of the medium and received numerous awards in juried competitions. His prints have a decisively elegant aspect that makes them instantly recognizable. In the Midwest he is frequently referred to as “the Prairie Woodcutter” and the forty prints in an exhibition from the Sandzén Gallery are among the best collected by Birger Sandzén.

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