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 William Seltzer Rice  (1873 - 1963)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: landscape painting, graphics, illustration, crafts

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Ad Code: 3
William Seltzer Rice
from Auction House Records.
Point Lobos
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Annex Galleries:
William S. Rice, painter, printmaker, and craftsman, was born in Manheim, Pennsylvania.  After completing studies at the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art and the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia, a job offer brought him to California in 1900. At the age of twenty-seven, he accepted the position as Supervisor of Art in the Stockton Public Schools; a position he held until 1910.  That same year, he moved to the Bay Area where, for the next thirty years, Rice taught in Alameda and Oakland, as well as at the University of California Extension and the California College of Arts and Crafts where he earned his BFA in 1929.

During the 1915 Panama Pacific Exhibition, Rice had a chance to study and absorb the techniques of the Japanese woodcuts which he was to incorporate into his own working knowledge of the medium.  In 1918, the first major exhibition of his color woodcuts hung at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor.  Though he gained national recognition for his printmaking, Rice embodied the Craftsman spirit, painting with watercolor and oil, and working in ceramics, hammered copper, and woodworking.

He authored three books on the subject of block printing, including Block Prints and How to Make Them, and wrote articles on naturalist subjects for Sunset magazine.  Rice was a member of the California Society of Printmakers, California Society of Etchers, Prairie Printmakers, Bay Region Art Association, North West Printmakers, and the San Francisco Art Association.

Rice’s work is represented in numerous private and public collections, including the Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts, Boston Public Library, Elvehjem Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum, Library of Congress, National Museum of American Art, Oakland Museum, and the Worcester Art Museum.

Biography from Crocker Art Museum Store:
Etcher, painter, printmaker, William Seltzer Rice was born on June 23, 1873 in Manheim, PA where his family had a carriage-painting business.  Rice began drawing at an early age and had art lessons from itinerant artists.  At age 20 he enrolled at the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia and took classes from Howard Pyle at the Drexel Institute.

 He worked as a staff artist for the Philadelphia Times until 1900 when he was offered a job in California as supervisor of art in the Stockton public schools.  He remained in that position for ten years and then became head of the art departments at Alameda High School, Fremont High School (1919-30), Oakland's Castlemont High School (1930-40), and UC Extension (1932-43).

While teaching, he earned a B.F.A. degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts and taught summer classes at that school.  Rice produced a number of watercolors of scenic spots in California from 1901. Wood block and linoleum prints soon became his forte.

At the Panama Pacific Exposition he was exposed to Japanese prints, which impressed him deeply and changed the course of his future work.  He retired from teaching in the public schools in the 1940s but continued accepting invitations to teach and exhibit for the next 15 years.

He died at his Oakland home on Aug. 27, 1963.

He was author of Block Prints: How to Make Them and Block Printing in the School.

SFAA; Calif. Society of PM; Calif. Society of Etchers; Oakland Art League; Pacific AA; Bay Region AA. Exh: Penn. Museum of Industrial Art, 1904 (prize); Calif. Society of Etchers from 1912; PPIE, 1915; SFAA, 1916, 1925; Santa Cruz Art League, 1934; GOlF, 1939; Library of Congress, 1943; Philadelphia Print Club, 1943.

CCAC; NMAA; Boston Public Library; Library of Congress; NY Public Library; CSL; Oakland Museum; Worcester (MA) Museum. Invw; Ben; AAA 1917-33; WWAA 1936-62; FId.
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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