Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An Antique Christmas note

Original etched print done by Francis Lamner, 1927
Adamsville, Rhode Island

Francis Lamner, ( 1899 - 1988), was one of the last copper engravers in the United States,  He was also a renowned scrimshaw designer.  I was fortunate enough to have known this artist, and his wife Gladys, in their later years. I treasure this card that they 
sent to me years ago. 
 I have it safely matted and framed and decided this year to use it as my internet greeting.  

Adamsville is a beautiful, tiny little seaside town in Rhode Island.  The little house where the Lamners lived is still there right near one of the oldest granaries in the country. I remember visiting with them as he showed me the simply displayed scrimshaw and etched treasures and narrated his history along with the tour.  It occurs to me that I had my own private historical interview.
I was even the recipient of some etching and carving instruction.  By then, his hand was shaky but sure and his wit and charm undiminished.  We, as artists, are marked by the
 care and and generosity of our mentors and our work will always show the seeds of their influence.

Through internet research, I found that there is an interview by Mr. Lamner, as well as his papers, located in the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian. The Archives of American Art Oral History Program started in 1958 to document the history of visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, critics and others. 

The Archives have centers in Washington, D.C. and New York.
 I am hoping to obtain a copy of his interview.
  The archives also contain some of his prints and cards.  

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