Saturday, 1 August 2015
On ebay: Kenneth Broad 'A Sussex Farm'
Also on e-bay but this time in the United States, a very fine but imperfect impression of Kenneth Broad's quite lovely 1925 colour woodcut, A Sussex Farm. Straightforward as it is, it was also one of the most direct and atmospheric of all British colour woodcut landscapes. As the only image of this print available online was a rather poor one, I thought it was well worth posting this image simply so that people could see what Broad could achieve when he was doing his best work in colour woodcut. Unusually for e-bay, the photograph does do this woodcut justice. The colours are a touch higher than the one I own so this may be a very fresh impression. Unfortunately there is some loss of ink top left and paper is missing on the reverse where the print was glued down.
None of this has deterred the seller and it goes up at $750, a price I don't think I would pay even if it were perfect. Even so, I include a close-up of the title to show just how expressive Broad's printing had become at this stage when he was at his most prolific and original. Like Ethel Kirkpatrick before him, the unique expressiveness of the tone was in part achieved by underprinting. Exhibited at the California Printmaker's International Exhibition at Los Angeles in 1926, the year Arthur Rigden Read took the gold medal with his tour-de-force Carcassonne, presumably this was one of the impressions Broad sold in the US at the time. Unlike Read, though, Broad's career failed to take off and many of his later prints are rare.