INDIVIDUAL PRINTS AND IMAGES PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY CAN BE SEEN BY CLICKING ON THE "Associated Artworks" LINK ON THE LEFT.
The top four images are scans of photocopied pages from an original Catalogue printed c. 1942. Approximate size of the original is 7 1/2 x 5 inches. This catalogue had a page devoted to each print issued between 1932 & 1942.
The Woodcut Society (Kansas City) 1932 to 1943
The Woodcut Society (Alexandria) 1944 to 1947
The Woodcut Society (New York) 1948 to 1954
The Woodcut Society: Kansas City, Alexandria and New York reflects changes of address and not three separate Societies, as is sometimes thought.
H. Alfred (Fred) Fowler, a Kansas City grain dealer and businessman, formed The Woodcut Society in 1932.
Between 1932 and 1954 the society issued 44 prints, primarily black and white with a few color prints, all commissioned by Mr. Fowler. As can be seen in the scan of the Introduction to the Catalogue Raisonne above, the term "Woodcuts" was used by Fowler to include wood-engravings, linoleum cuts and color block-prints.
Artists were mostly, but not exclusively, from the USA.
The artist made 200 prints by hand from the block. The prints were then sent to Fowler who placed them in a letterpress printed-paper folio. On the facing page he printed an artist's foreword or critic's essay. The original blocks were also sent to Fowler and supposedly he planned to donate them to the Nelson Gallery of Art.
The Woodcut Society (Kansas City) - The folio cover address for the Society was initially Kansas City.
The Woodcut Society (Alexandria) - At least by 1944 Fowler moved to Alexandria, Virginia and the address on the folio cover read Alexandria.
The Woodcut Society (New York) - At least by 1948 Fowler moved to New York and the address on the folio cover read New York.
Source material for the above: Kansas City Public Library, Missouri Valley, Special Collections.
The Woodcut Society was primarily a collector's society and not an artist's society. Prints were distributed to members of the society. Membership in the society was international in scope and included the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
In addition to publishing the 44 prints the Society also collected other artist's works and sponsored some traveling shows.
Karl Marxhausen provided the following quotation:
"In addition, The Society sponsored traveling exhibitions, opening in Kansas City, in 1932, 1933, 1935, and 1936, of woodcuts by contemporary American and European artists. Participants submitted two impressions of each of their prints, one for circulation and one for a permanent collection. The latter, comprising of 212 examples, was presented to the Museum between 1935 and 1939, forming the nucleus of our holdings of our modern woodcuts." The Collections of The Nelson-Adkins Museum of Art, Prints 1460-1995, by George L. Mckenna, Kansas City, Missouri, in Association with The University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1996 First Edition. Introduction, pg xi
- see 1933 Press Release above regarding woodcuts collected under the name of the Society.