(Steel Mill: cross country rolling mill stands, rolling a bloom; 4 reheat furnaces in background) by Otto August Kuhler

(Steel Mill: cross country rolling mill stands, rolling a bloom; 4 reheat furnaces in background) by Otto August Kuhler

(Steel Mill: cross country rolling mill stands, rolling a bloom; 4 reheat furnaces in background)

Otto August Kuhler

Title

(Steel Mill: cross country rolling mill stands, rolling a bloom; 4 reheat furnaces in background)

 
Artist
Year
c. 1924  
Technique
etching in dark brown ink 
Image Size
9 7/16 x 7 7/8" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
not stated, presumed small 
Annotations
 
Reference
 
Paper
antique white Arches laid 
State
proof 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
14682 
Price
$950.00 
Description

Otto Kuhler was heir to the German steel business, Kuhler Forges, which closed after WWI. Kuhler, partly due to the advice of his American friend, printmaker Joseph Pennell, took up etching and emigrated to the States in 1923. Like many artists from the roaring 20s his etchings from the time extolled industry and manufacturing in the U.S. Kuhler went on to design locomotives for the rail industry.

Around 1924 Kuhler created a group of etchings of the steel mills in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, concentrating on the various functions of the mills, the machinery and capturing the eerie light. They appear not to have been editioned.

This etching depicts cross country rolling mill stands and 4 reheat furnaces in the background. In this image an ingot is formed into a bloom (larger than a billet, smaller that a slab). The man with the tongs feeds the bloom back into another mill, in the opposite direction.

Like Pennell, Kuhler concentrates on the detail of the foreground as the composition fades to the edges, focusing the viewer on the machinery before moving to the midground of a white heat and a background of smoke and steam.