William S. Rice 1873-1963

The Annex Galleries has represented the work of William S. Rice since 1982. We are pleased to once again celebrate his work with an exhibition in the gallery and to introduce collectors and curators to the recently published book by Ellen Treseder Sexauer, William S. Rice: Art & Life. Ellen will be in the gallery on the afternoon of Saturday, May 4, between the hours of 1:00 and 5:00 to sign copies of her newly published book on her grandfather.

William S. Rice arrived in California in 1900 when traveling about the state was difficult but access to the landscape was almost unrestricted. He painted watercolors en plein air throughout his life and rendered every terrain within the golden state. Here are a few watercolors from his travels to Pacific Grove, Healdsburg, Point Lobos and the hills behind Oakland.

Pacific Grove in Winter

Pacific Grove in Winter


Pacific Grove in Winter, watercolor, about 1903, signed in the lower right, on watercolor paper, 11-7/8 x 15-1/4″ image and paper.

Ransome’s Quarry

Ransome’s Quarry


Ransome’s Quarry, watercolor, about 1935, signed in lower left, on watercolor paper, 10-7/8 x 16-7/8″ image and paper.

Mill Creek, Headsburg

Mill Creek, Headsburg


Mill Creek, Healdsburg, watercolor, 1908, signed in lower left, titled and dated by the artist on verso, on watercolor paper, 7 x 5″ image and paper.

Carmel-Point Lobos

Carmel-Point Lobos


Carmel-Point Lobos, watercolor, 1914, signed in lower right, titled and dated by the artist on verso, on watercolor paper, 8-7/8 x 11-5/8″ image and paper.

In 1915, the Panama Pacific International Exposition opened in San Francisco. It was a grand World’s Fair celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal. There was a major print exhibition which included color woodcuts by American and Japanese artists. Enamored with the stylized design as well as the color and printing techniques of the Japanese color woodcuts, Rice revisited the exposition as often as he could to study them. With his new knowledge and excitement for the medium, he produced an amazing body of color woodcuts depicting the landscape and the flowers that he cherished.

Magnolia Grandiflora

Magnolia Grandiflora


Magnolia Grandiflora, color woodcut, about 1935, pencil signed and titled, edition of about 12 impressions, printed by the artist on laid Japanese paper, 10-3/8 x 11-7/8″ image.

Bert’s Iris

Bert’s Iris


Bert’s Iris, color woodcut, about 1920; pencil signed and titled, edition of about 12 impressions, printed by the artist on laid Japanese paper; 12-1/8 x 9-1/8″ image.

Evening Carmel Bay

Evening Carmel Bay


Evening Carmel Bay, color woodcut, 1917, pencil signed and titled, edition of about 12 impressions, printed by the artist on textured laid Japanese paper, 9 x 12-1/8″ image.

Blue Jay

Blue Jay


Blue Jay, color woodcut, about 1930, pencil signed and titled, edition of about 12 impressions, printed by the artist on laid Japaneses paper, 12-1/4 x 9-1/8″ image.

Rice embodied the Craftsman spirit by constantly exploring a variety of media. He was an innovative printmaker who experimented with the printmaking technqiues of drypoint, etching, and lithography. His etchings and drypoints often have a sandpaper ground lending a texture to broad expanses of the plates. Rice’s imagery was again drawn from the landscape, the flora and fauna, and the romance of California.

The Ghost Pine

The Ghost Pine


The Ghost Pine, drypoint with sandpaper ground, about 1940, pencil signed and titled, edition of about 5 impressions, printed by the artist on antique-white wove paper; 8-1/8 x 6-5/8″ platemark.

Chinese Fisheries Monterey

Chinese Fisheries Monterey


Chinese Fisheries Monterey, drypoint, about 1940, pencil signed and titled, editioned 15/20, printed by the artist on cream wove paper, 8-5/8 x 11-5/8″ platemark.

California Hills

California Hills


California Hills, etching, about 1940, pencil signed and titled, edition of about 5 impressions, printed by the artist on cream wove paper, 7 x 8″ platemark.

Moonlight

Moonlight


Moonlight, drypoint with sandpaper ground, about 1940, pencil signed and titled, edition of about 10 impressions, printed by the artist on antique-white wove paper, 6-3/8 x 3-1/8″ platemark.

Amazing as it might seem today, in the 1920s and 1930s color prints were not accepted by many established printmaking societies who held exhibitions. An artist had to work in black and white to have his work included in some regional and national shows. William Rice found linoleum to be a receptive and expressive medium for his designs as well as being an easier matrix to carve than wood. The locales of his linocuts reveal that William Rice was still traversing California between 1935 and 1940, capturing the quaintness of an old mining town, the grandeur of the Sierra, or the magnificence of the Pacific Ocean.

The Hilltop Oak

The Hilltop Oak


The Hilltop Oak, linoleum block print, about 1935, pencil signed and titled, edition of about 15 impressions, printed by the artist on a soft, antique-white laid Japanese paper, 6 x 8″ image.

Joe Legorio’s Windmill

Joe Legorio’s Windmill


Joe Legorio’s Windmill, linoleum block print, about 1935, pencil signed and titled, edition of about 15 impressions, printed by the artist on a soft, ivory laid Japanese paper, 12 x 9″ image.

Mill on the Stanislaus

Mill on the Stanislaus


Mill on the Stanislaus, linoleum block print, about 1935, pencil signed and titled, edition of about 15 impressions, printed by the artist on a soft wove paper, 10-1/2 x 4-1/4″ image.

The Fan Cypress–Pt. Lobos

The Fan Cypress–Pt. Lobos


The Fan Cypress—Pt. Lobos, linoleum block print, about 1935, pencil signed and titled, edition of about 15 impressions, printed by the artist on a soft, antique-white laid Japanese paper, 9 x 12″ image.

To view the exhibition use this link: William S. Rice. To view all the works by William Seltzer Rice use this link: William Seltzer Rice

About Annex Galleries

The Annex Galleries holds one of the largest original fine print inventories on the West Coast. With over 9,000 works, we specialize in (but are not limited to) original prints of the WPA era, Arts & Crafts movement, and Abstract Expressionism through the 1960's, with a focus on American and Californian artists both known and unknown. We have everything from Durer to Baumann to Picasso.
This entry was posted in Arts & Crafts, California Printmaking, California watercolor, Color Woodcut, Discoveries, Exhibition, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to William S. Rice 1873-1963

  1. InkyFingers says:

    I am so excited for this! Sad to miss it, but I’m sure it will be a hit. I will let folks know, as well. Take care!

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