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 Ralph M. Pearson  (1883 - 1958)

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Lived/Active: New York/California/Iowa      Known for: etcher-landscape, Indian genre

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An accomplished American etcher of the early twentieth century, Ralph M. Pearson was born on May 27, 1883 in Angus, Iowa. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, under Charles Francis Browne and John Vanderpoel.  In 1911 he produced a series of etchings of workers in Chicago. 

He was one of the earliest printmakers in New Mexico, settling in Taos about 1915. During his distinguished career his etchings received awards from the Chicago Society of Etchers (1914); the Panama Pacific Exposition, San Francisco (1915); the American Bookplate Society (1917); and the California Print Maker's Society (1922).

Ralph Pearson was a full member of the Art Students League of Chicago, the Chicago Society of Etchers, the New York Society of Etchers, California Art Club, the California Society of Etchers and the Brooklyn Society of Etchers.

Pearson died in South Nyack, NY in 1958.

Ralph Pearson's etchings are included in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Art Institute of Chicago, Mobile Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art, and Columbia University. Ralph M. Pearson was also an influential writer on the arts and was the author of such books as How to See Modern Pictures (1925), Fifty Prints of the Year (1927), The New Art Education (1941), and Experiencing American Pictures (1943)
An important element of Pearson's etched work was his painterly approach to etching. Dismissing many traditional values of the day, he was one of the first American etchers to emphasize formal relations and key elements of design.

Written and submitted by Ann Harlow, Independent Scholar

Annex Galleries

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ralph Pearson, etcher was born in Angus, Iowa in 1883. He was a pupil of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a member of the Brooklyn and California Societies of Etchers. His work is represented in the New York Public Library, Library of Congress and Chicago Museum of Fine Arts.

Source: Dictionary of American Artists, Sculptors and Engravers (date not noted)
Submitted by: Katherine Tozier

Biography from Crocker Art Museum Store:
PEARSON, Ralph M. (1883-1958). Etcher. Born in Angus, IA on May 27, 1883, Ralph Pearson studied at the Art Institute of Chicago under John Vanderpoel. He was active in California during the 1920s.

His subjects include a set of Toilers of the City, Indian pueblos, and California scenes.

He died in Nyack, NY in 1958.

Exhibition: California Society of Etchers, 1913; Panama Pacific Exposition, 1915 (medal); Calif. PM, 1922; Gumps (SF), 1922; Stendahl Gallery (LA), 1923.

Library of Congress; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; NY Public Library. 11 SF Chronicle, 9-11-1922, C3; American Art Annual 1929; Who Was Who in American Art 1936-56; FId.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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Ralph Pearson is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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