"Oasis of Seven Palms, (Coachilla Valley) California," from the 'Desert Set.' by George Elbert Burr

Oasis of Seven Palms, (Coachilla Valley) California, from the Desert Set. by George Elbert Burr

"Oasis of Seven Palms, (Coachilla Valley) California," from the 'Desert Set.'

George Elbert Burr

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"Oasis of Seven Palms, (Coachilla Valley) California," from the 'Desert Set.'

drypoint with aquatint 
Image Size
4 7/8 x 6 15/16" platemark 
pencil, lower left margin; monogram in plate, lower left image. 
Edition Size
No 11/40 
inscribed after signature: "Del et Imp." followed by title; editioned No 11/40; pencil titled a second time along the lower sheet edge. 
Seeber 195; American Etchers 195; LC56, copyright deposit print 
ivory wove 
Inventory ID

George Elbert Burr moved to Denver, Colorado in 1906 for health reasons. He spent the next 18 years there creating a body of intaglio prints that focused on the desert and mountain landscapes of the southwest. His distinctive dramatic desert landscapes and nightscapes that often feature dark, atmospheric skies created by crisp drypoint lines and subtle aquatinted backgrounds.

In his intaglio "Oasis of Seven Palms, California" he creates a misty, ethereal composition using drypoint and very light aquatint. In the Seeber catalogue raisonné this image is described on page 124: "...Nearly straight horizontal line of dark palm trees standing on desert terrain with spotty vegetation. The San Jacinto Mountains, pale and delicate with soft shadows, stand majestically in bgrd., skyline repeating top outline of trees. Much contrast..."

This image is number 10 of 35 prints Burr did that he called the "Desert Set", put together in 1921 and the first 30 of which were sold as a set for $750.00. The final 5 impressions from the edition of 40 were sold as individual prints. The edition of 40 is the highest edition Burr did and identifies the images from the "Desert Set."

George Elbert Burr was born in Munroe Falls, Ohio on 14 April 1859 and was raised in Cameron, Missouri. His earliest instruction in drawing and painting was provided by his mother and he made his first attempts at etching in the early 1870s. In December 1878, Burr enrolled in the Chicago Academy of Design (now the School of the Art Institute of Chicago) but he terminated his studies in April of the following year. In 1888 he was creating illustrations for Schribner’s and Harper’s magazines as well as for John Muir’s Picturesque California, and, after moving to New York, he illustrated for Cosmopolitan and Leslie’s.

In 1906, Burr and his wife, Elizabeth, moved to Denver. A few of his color etchings were included in the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition and the following year he was represented by two etchings in the First Annual Exhibition of the Brooklyn Society of Etchers at the Brooklyn Museum. In 1921 he copyrighted the last of the thirty-five etchings in the Desert Set, which was circulated in exhibitions by the American Federation of Arts. For health reasons, Burr had to leave the winter chill of Denver and purchased a home in Phoenix, Arizona in 1927.

Burr was in the unique position of self-promoting his work and in January 1930 wrote to R. P. Tolman, assistant curator at the Smithsonian Institution: "It's lots of fun to be a 'poor artist.' Nearly fifty years I've been, except for health limitations, supremely happy in my work, and am constantly surprised in the number of people that also seem to get pleasure out of my labor. It seems so odd, that without effort, I've always sold more than Mrs. Burr and I have needed for all our fourteen years of travel and other so-called luxuries."


Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.