In Memoriam a.k.a. The North Portal of Chartres Cathedral by John Taylor Arms

In Memoriam a.k.a. The North Portal of Chartres Cathedral by John Taylor Arms

In Memoriam a.k.a. The North Portal of Chartres Cathedral

John Taylor Arms

Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email to purchase this item.

In Memoriam a.k.a. The North Portal of Chartres Cathedral

Image Size
14 3/4 x 12 1/16" platemark 
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
pencil dated 1939 after the signature 
Fletcher317; French Church series #40; Arms 322; LOC 166 
gray-blue laid, F J Head & Co Hand Made with watermarks 
Inventory ID

John Taylor Arms tended to work in series; this image is from the French Church Series, begun in 1924. It included 55 plates, this being number 40 in the series.

The UNESCO website states: "Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral, located in the Centre-Val-de-Loire region, is one of the most authentic and complete works of religious architecture of the early 13th century. It was the destination of a pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin Mary, among the most popular in all medieval Western Christianity. Because of the unity of its architecture and decoration, the result of research of the first Gothic era, its immense influence on the art of Middle Age Christianity, Chartres Cathedral appears as an essential landmark in the history of medieval architecture. The outstanding stained-glass ensemble, monumental statuary of the 12th and 13th centuries and the painted decoration miraculously preserved from the ravages of humankind and time, make Chartres one of the most admirable and the best-preserved examples of Gothic art."

Arms spoke of his love for architecture: “A building possesses truly as does a human being, a skeleton, a covering of flesh, and clothing with which both are in turn covered, so also, and most poignantly, does it possess a spirit,” ... “In the work of the great interpreters of architecture . . .Meryon, Piranesi, Canaletto, and Bone, it is this expression of the spirit of the subject . . . which makes them such enduring works of art.”

John Taylor Arms, printmaker, lecturer, illustrator, and administrator, was born in Washington, D.C. on 19 April 1887. He first studied law at Princeton University but transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study architecture, earning a Master’s Degree in 1912. He studied with Ross Turner, David A. Gregg, and Felton Brown. For five years after his graduation Arms worked for the architectural firm Carrere and Hastings, before establishing his own architectural firm of which he was a partner.

A gift of an etching kit from his wife, Dorothy Noyes Arms, changed the course of his life. He produced his first etching in 1915 and he eventually produced 441 prints, mostly etchings. Arms became one of the most famous printmakers of the first half of the twentieth century. He is mostly noted for his etchings of medieval architecture but early subjects also included ships, sailboats, airplanes, rural landscapes, and the streets, buildings, and bridges of New York.

Arms’ exhibition history was lengthy beginning in 1927 and continuing to 1952. He was given an honorary M.A. degree from Wesleyan University in 1939, and he was a member of the National Academy of Design; the Canadian Painters, Etchers and Engravings; the Royal Society of Painters, Etchers and Engravers; the Society of American Graphic Artists (served as the society's president); the National Institute of Arts and Letters; the American Federation of Arts; the American Artists Professional League; the Architectural League of New York; the Southern States Art League; the Southern Print Makers; the American Color Print Society; the North Shore Art Association; the Washington Water Color Club; the Chicago Society of Etchers; and the Print Club of Cleveland.

He authored 'Hand-Book of Print Making and Print Makers' in 1934 and illustrated 'Churches of France' and 'Hill Towns and Cities of Northern Italy' by Dorothy Noyes Arms. J.T. Arms was an activist for printmaking and assisted in assembling exhibitions of American graphic art that were shown in Sweden, Czechoslovakia and Rome; he was editor of the Print Department of Print, A Quarterly Journal of the Graphic Arts, and he lectured on the techniques, history and value of original prints. Arms also served as the president of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation in 1940. John Taylor Arms died in New York City on 15 October 1953.


Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email to purchase this item.