Paul Hambleton Landacre Biography

Paul Hambleton Landacre




Paul Landacre, printmaker and illustrator, was born on July 9, 1893 in Columbus, Ohio and attended Ohio State University until he was suddenly crippled by the onset of a debilitating illness. In 1916, he moved to Chula Vista, California to recover from his illness, living with his newly remarried father. During his long convalescence, Landacre roamed the hillsides and found solace in drawing the landscape and soon purchased his first blocks of linoleum. By 1922, he had moved to Los Angeles to attend classes at the Otis Art Institute. Woodengraving was not part of the curriculum and Landacre was self-taught in this art form. He worked as a commerical illustrator, married Margaret McCreery in 1925, and with the support of his wife, devoted himself to woodengraving in 1926.

Landacre had his first solo exhibition at the Blanding Sloan Workshop Gallery in San Francisco in 1929 and an exhibition the following year at Zeitlin's bookshop in Los Angeles was the genesis of a long and rewarding relationship between the artist and Jake Zeitlin. Landacre became the pre-eminent American woodengraver, an honor bestowed by Rockwell Kent as well as Carl Zigrosser. His woodengravings are brillant in their composition, style, and stark contrasts and his mastery of the medium led to his election to the National Academy of Design in 1946. He illustrated award winning books of poems for Ward Ritchie and Alexander Dumas, A Gil Blas in California. His first solo book, California Hills and other Woodengravings of 1931 won Fifty Books of the Year.

Landacre taught woodengraving at the University of Southern California, Otis Art Institute and the Kahn Institute and held memberships in the California Society of Etchers, California Print Makers Society, American Society of Wood Engravers, and the American Society of Etchers, Gravers, Lithographers and Woodcutters. His woodengravings were included in numerous exhibitions, including the 1939 New York Worlds Fair, and are illustrated in numerous books on woodengraving and American printmaking. Repositories of his work include the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Library of Congress; Los Angeles Public Library; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Oakland Museum; New York Public Library; Philadelphia Museum; San Francisco, Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts; and the Seattle Museum.

Paul Landacre died in Los Angeles, California on June 1, 1963, soon after—and emotionally resulting from—the death of his wife who had been an essential working companion for 38 years, even helping the artist late in his life pull impressions from the formidable Washington Hand Press. In March 2006, with the growing appreciation of Landacre's artistic significance, their hillside home was declared a City of Los Angeles landmark (Historic Cultural Monument No. 839).