BENTON SPRUANCE Lithographs 1932-1967 The Philadelphia College of Art is pleased to present this retrospective exhibition of the lithographs of Benton Spruance, in honor of his distinguished achievement as artist and as a member of its faculty since 1934. Philadelphia College of Art, September 15 — October 6, 1967 Mother of Birds This exhibition is to honor the long and distinguished teaching career of Benton Spruance. Ben is a recognized artist and is the "Dean" of Philadelphia lithog- raphers. It is in this field that he demonstrates his great knowledge and his great love of this artistic medium. No print ever leaves his studio that does not measure up to his scrupulous standards of quality, both of esthetics and of craftsmanship. He has set a high mark of attainment for the host of students who have had the good fortune to "sit at his feet." Ben's achievements are due primarily to the immense effort and all-encompassing concentration he devotes to each undertaking. From original drawing to finished lithograph there is meticulous attention to detail and to perfection. Secondly, his accomplishments reflect his great understanding of those masters who have preceded him and have, to a large extent, molded him, even as he has stimulated his students. As a result his lectures are a joy to hear. Many times I have witnessed his classes, sitting spellbound while listening to his scholarly discourses. I have always shared with his students their enthusiasm and interest. Never have any of us left one of his always informal "talks" without deriving new insights and renewed interests. We regret that we will not be favored in the future in the same inimitable way. Regardless of what has been said of his artistry and teaching, both of these qualities are overshadowed by Ben as a human personality. His warmth and spontaneity, his understanding and sympathy, mark him as an "homme extraor- dinaire." All of those who have studied with him will regret deeply his retire- ment. May this exhibition be a token of the love and appreciation we all have for him. May it also bear witness to the fact that we look forward, with great anticipation, to those works of art from his heart, mind and hand which we expect during the ensuing years spent in health, happiness and his ever-present industry. LESSING J. ROSENWALD The People Work — Evening C. J. Holmes — at one time Director of the National Gallery of Art in London and himself an artist — once wrote a book on Rembrandt's development as a printmaker. He showed how the artist started as an ordinary practitioner in a graphic medium, and by unremitting effort at self-education and self-criticism attained extraordinary creative facility. The artist taught himself: he learned how to profit from his mistakes and overcome his deficiencies. To be sure, there are still other types of artists who are born with a kind of inner grace and immedi- ate access to full powers. A Toulouse-Lautrec or a Pascin, for example, did not have to undergo an elaborate metamorphosis to acquire mastery. Their facility was innate, and whatever they touched, however casually, was endowed with aesthetic vitality. In his artistic development Benton Spruance followed the way of Rembrandt, the long hard way. He made his first lithograph in 1928 while in Paris on a Cresson Fellowship from the Academy. Somehow he had found his way to the lithographic printing shop of Desjobert. He remembers seeing Yasuo Kuniyoshi and John Carroll working there. He made several lithographs, and upon his return in 1930 on another Cresson, spent some time at the shop watching the workmen print. Because he had a smattering of French, Desjobert allowed him to hang around the atelier in return for acting as interpreter for those Americans who spoke no French. In this way he learned the rudiments of lithographic tech- nique, a subject which was not then taught in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. During the interval of almost forty years since his first attempts, Spruance has made according to the record well over four hundred lithographs. His very early prints — he has since destroyed many of them — have no great aesthetic distinction. They are thin and lacking in substance and form. Much of Spruance's early training had been architectural, and was not the best prepara- tion for graphic expression. Even the instruction in drawing prevailing in art schools had not advanced much beyond the conventional shades and shadows. A whole generation of young artists had to overcome their early training to conform with the more dynamic form-perceptions of the Post-Impressionists. Further- more, at the time Spruance admired and was influenced by Geoge Bellows, whose work was no paradigm of expressive draughtsmanship. There was much that Spruance had to learn over again. In Philadelphia he found a lithograph printer who had a press at home and who was willing to print for him and other artists in his spare time. He was Theodore Cuno, an old German craftsman who had printed for Joseph Penned at the Ketterlinus Co. and was then working as a color prover for another firm. The association with Cuno lasted for a long time, and again contributed to Ben's technical proficiency. If his style lacked distinction in the early days, at least his subject matter was novel and engaging. In the decade of the 1930's subject matter was important and social comment was in the air. Bellows led him to stress caricature above character in his delineation of types. Bellows likewise demonstrated the possibilities of sports as subject matter, and Ben responded in a series of football subjects. His Backfield in Motion of 1932 is the earliest litho- graph in the exhibition. His Pass to the Flat of 1939 is a measure of his develop- ment during the decade. Similarly in another theme, views of Philadelphia, one can trace an increasing maturity of style from Bulldog Edition of 1932 to the Bridge from Race Street of 1939. The decade of the 1930's was for Spruance a period of experimentation and groping toward a more personal style. Around 1935-36 one seems to sense the influence of his friend Franklin Watkins in the angular gestures and the heightened intensity of expression of such prints as Philatelists or Caustic Comment. What was idiosyncratic and natural in Watkins became strained and all too obvious in Spruance. In due course Ben worked himself into modes of expression somewhat more sympathetic to his nature. He made a brief excursus into a kind of cubist stylization (Leger?) in such stones as American Pattern: Barns and Arrangement for Drums of 1941. One might also say that Karl Hofer and Max Beckmann, who were favorite artists among others, offered suggestions leading toward a more monumental style. But the recital of influences is an unprofitable task. Most artists are sensitive to currents in their own times, and take suggestions wherever they find them. All artists worth their salt take such hints and make them their own. In 1937, after much preliminary study and revision, Spruance issued a set of four large lithographs The People Work, and in the following year a similar set The People Play. Both were concerned with a certain kind of social commentary, a synthesis or documentary montage of urban life. They were sociological treatises in visual terms. They marked the culmination of a phase: the artist did not pursue the theme in the same way again. As time went on he became more free and less literal, he learned that it was possible to suggest as well as to spell out. His inspiration began to take a more symbolic form — interpretations in modern dress of classical myths and biblical themes. He continued in many instances to use the suite or sequence as the frame-work of his conception, the numbers in each series often running from three to ten units. The beginnings of his use of symbolic interpretation are evident as early as 1934 (The Annunciation). Typical is his treatment of the Wise Men theme. The idea must have appealed to him, for he made three versions, the first in 1940 entitled The Gift of the Kings and the third in 1943 called Epiphany. In each of the prints, one Wise Man in academic robes offers a book to the Child seated in his mother's lap; another bears the attributes of the physician, and the third the suggestion of a religious ministry. In a corner in the darkness lies a man in chains. The artist thus voices the hope that education, science, and religion will free a new generation from the bondage suffered by the old. Such graphic statements of humane values were edifying concepts, even if the artist's execution was not always commensurate with the grandeur of the idea. Spruance, however, went on during the late nineteen-forties and throughout the nineteen-fifties to refine his technical means and to bring his philosophical reflections to greater maturity. A list of some of the titles will suggest the range and development of his exploration in the fields of myth and scripture during that period: among suites, Ecclesiastes 1945, Vanities I and II 1949-50, Job 1951, St. Francis 1953, Minotaur 1953, Centaur 1954, Four Northern Saints 1954, Resurrection 1955, The Anabasis of Saint- Jean Perse 1957; among single stones, Behold the Man 1947, Prometheus 1953, Priestess 1954, Penelope 1956, Magdalene 1956, Black Friday 1958. With an intelligence and social conscience as alert to current events as Spruance's it was natural that he would have something to say about World War II. He offered a prophetic glimpse of it in The Windshield of 1939 (from a planned review of the 1930's which never got beyond two stones) as well as sorrowing and bitter reflections in Lamentation 1941 and Souvenir of Lidice 1943. Perhaps the most striking of his war prints were Riders of the Apocalypse with its array of airplanes in the sky, and Fathers and Sons, a tragic commentary on war's recur- rent pattern, both of 1943. Low Entrance to a High Place It must be kept in mind that Spruance's printmaking activity was always concur- rent with a heavy teaching load and an active participation in public affairs. He is not and never has been an ivory-tower artist. He has been President of Artists' Equity and helped to shape its policy at a crucial time. He is a member of the Philadelphia Art Commission which acts as a watchdog over the city's archi- tectural beauty. As a knowledgeable trustee of the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial, he has been active in its guidance and wise in his counsel. He is professor of Art and Chairman of the Department at Beaver College, and teaches painting, printmaking, art history and print history. He built up the Depart- ment of Printmaking at the Philadelphia College of Art and was its head until his retirement. Because of his experience as a teacher and art historian, he is an articulate interpreter of his own work, although on principle he seldom attempts it. And if I may insert a personal note and mention still another of his activities, I would cite the "Brain Trust," an informal group which met for dinner once a week at Imhoffs Restaurant during the early 1940's. The regular members consisted of Ben Spruance, Bob Riggs, Franklin Watkins, Alex Abels, and myself. Guests were often invited, and we generally managed to settle the affairs of the world — to our own satisfaction at least. One of the pleasant customs of the group was the rule that any member who won an award or prize had to stand treat for the crowd. Ben and Watty bore the brunt of such hospitality. I have spoken of the beginnings of Spruance's education in printmaking opera- tions in Desjobert's atelier, and of his working hand in hand with Theodore Cuno. This training was continued partly by working much later in several foreign printing shops (the Cursen Press in London, U. M. Grafik in Copen- hagen, and Desjobert twice again in Paris) but chiefly by his own manipulations on his own press. Lithography, more than any other graphic technique, requires for its mastery considerably more than learning from a technical manual or pedagogic demonstration: it calls for long practical experience above all, for dex- terity and know-how, the actual feel of the hand and wrist. The true lithographer learns by doing. And Ben, as a true lithographer, began to print his own litho- graphs. He first had access to a press in the school at Broad and Pine, where he taught lithography. Incidentally, one learns technique quickly when one has to teach it to others. In 1953 he bought a lithograph press for himself and set it up in his studio at Beaver College. From then on nearly all of his lithographs, with a few exceptions, were printed by him there or later in his private studio on Germantown Avenue, where he had installed his press in 1964. By an arduous process of self-training he has become a master printer. There is literally nothing that he cannot print in black or in color. Technique has become second nature to him, and this facility has in turn widened his creative horizons: he knows what effects are possible on stone. Although he has devoted all his life to lithography, he did make a few essays in other graphic mediums: in 1951 he executed a few woodcuts on the theme of Job, and in 1953 he made at least one etching and aquatint. He also has painted in oils off and on during his career. In 1963 he painted a notable mural for the chapel in the New House of Detention at Holmes- burg. (The lithograph Woman Offering Life in the present exhibition is a varia- tion of a motif in the mural.) There is, however, more to a fine lithograph than printing technique: there is also the " writing" on the stone — the how in addition to the what was said. The message never gave Ben much trouble. With his temperament and wide interests the idea always came first and he had plenty of them. It was in the area of what the conception was to become that the struggle lay. As T. S. Eliot said: "Between the conception and the creation — between the motion and the response — falls the shadow." To eliminate the shadow was his greatest task in self-education. He was aware of the problem and was determined to solve it as far as he was able. He had been handicapped by inadequate instruction in draughtsmanship. He set about training his eyes in tactile and form perceptions. Glasses helped, too, for he had certain defects of vision. But the problem was not entirely on the physical plane: it involved a change of attitude, a new approach. In a great work of art, form and content have equal validity and are perfectly fused. Each modi- fies the other to produce the resultant work of enduring merit. Originally Ben had considered the execution subordinate to the idea. He had to learn to become as emotionally and creatively involved in the means as he was in the meaning. It seems to me that the major break-through in this direction came about by his increasing involvement in color. There are a number of color prints in which the motivation appears to be exclusively pleasurable. He apparently was striving toward aesthetic realizations, playing with color and form, with lines and shapes for their own sake. With this self-knowledge and experience he has been able to achieve this ultimate fusion in his later years. In the current exhibition, which the artist himself selected, he has devoted thirty- five prints, or half of the total, to prints made in the 1960's, leaving the other half to represent the production of thirty-two earlier years. He has thus indicated his strong preference for the work of his immediate maturity. It is difficult to select notable prints among so many contenders. My own preference would be for such masterly interpretations as Lazarus, Odysseus, and Mother of Birds (Leda) , or the tender Winter Birds with its very personal associations for the artist. The beautiful color lithograph The Spectre of Moby Dick was the first devoted to the subject, and thus a forerunner to the great print sequence dramatizing the Passion of Ahab and his conflict with the White Whale, or Evil Incarnate. The series has been over two years in the making. None of the twenty-six large prints which constitute this magnum opus are shown here because they have not yet been formally published. Spruance has always worked in that tradition of graphic art which regards the print as meaningful communication. This tradition has not been popular in the past few decades with those artists who communicate little else than a sense of their own virtuosity. And they, many of them, are very much in vogue and suc- cessful. But Ben has stuck to his high purpose without compromise. He has worked long and faithfully in the vineyards of art. This exhibition is a tribute to his achievement, and incidentally a record of a life-long love affair with the lithograph stone. Carl Zigrosser Triumph of the Whale Catalogue of the Exhibition i. Backfield in Motion. 1932. io'/s x 14 3 /. black & white, ed. 30. imp. CUNO. Prize, Philadelphia Print Club. 2. Bulldog Edition. 1932. 8 7 /s x i4'/4- black & white, ed. 30. imp. CUNO. 3. Shells of the Living. 1933. i5 3 /8 x 7V2. black & white, ed. 28. imp. CUNO. 4. Road from the Shore. 1936. io'/s x 14^. black & white, ed. 25. imp. CUNO. 5. Traffic Control. 1936. 8V S x 14^. black & white, ed. 35. imp. CUNO. 6. The People Work — Morning. \ ™, D , rx , , , 7 / 1937- i3 s /£xiq. black 8c 7. The People Work — Noon. I V _V °' J . ^ rT „ T ^ ' r } white, ed. 40. imp. CUNO. 8. The People Work-Evening. ?am ^ Meda] p A p A 9. T/i^ People Work — Night. J 10. The Bridge fro?n Race Street. 1939. is^xS 1 /^. black & white, ed. 30. imp. CUNO. 1 1. Pass to the Flat. 1939. 14 x 22. black & white, ed. 45. imp. CUNO. Prize, Philadel- phia Print Club. Eyre Medal. P. A. F. A. 12. The 30's — Windshield. 1939. 8% x 14*4. black & white, ed. 35. imp. CUNO. 13. Portrait at Dusk. 1939. 15H x io 1 /^. black 8c white, ed. 20. imp. CUNO. Prize, Laguna Beach Art Association. 14. American Pattern — Barn. 1940. 7 3 /4 x 14. 2 colors, ed. 40. imp. CUNO. 15. Arrangement for Drums. 1941. 9'/2 x 14^. 2 colors, ed. 40. imp. CUNO. 16. Souvenir of Lidice. 1942. 12 x i8!4- black & white, ed. 35. imp. CUNO. Prize, Artists for Victory. 17. Riders of the Apocalypse. 1943. \2 b /& x i6 3 /8. black & white, ed. 35. imp. CUNO. 18. Fathers and Sons. 1943. iiVs x zo l /s- black & white, ed. 36. imp. CUNO. Award, Laguna Beach Art Association. 19. Football. 1944. 12V2X20. 5 colors, ed. 40. imp. CUNO. 20. Eyes for the Night. 1948. 19x13. 4 colors, ed. 35. imp. CUNO. Prize, Boston Print- makers, Boston. Prize, American Color Print Society, Philadelphia. Prize, Pennell Memorial Exhibition, Library of Congress. 21. Variation. 1950. 131/2 x i8 3 /s. 3 colors, ed. 20. imp. CUNO. 22. Memorial. 1950. 18 1 /*! x 1314. 5 colors, ed. 40. imp. CUNO. 23. "Hast Thou Observed My Servant — Job?" 1951. i8%xi2i4. colors, ed. 27. imp. B.S. Prize, Philadelphia Art Alliance. 24. "My Hand I Lay Upon My Mouth." 1951. i8?4xii}4. color, ed. 22. imp. B.S. 25- Portrait — Mrs. C. S. 1952. tgVs x 1 3 V2- 8 colors, ed. 12. imp. B.S. 26. Death of the Minotaur. 1953. 19 x 14^. 5 colors, ed. 35. imp. DESJOBERT. Prize, Philadelphia Print Club. 27. Clue to the Labyrinth. 1953. i6!4 x 22 J /2. black & white, ed. 35. imp. CUNO. 28. Fragment. 1954. i6 5 /8XiiV8- 6 colors, ed. 32. imp. B.S. 29. Thorn Bush. 1955. 23 x \bVz. 8 colors, ed. 25. imp. B.S. Prize, Lugano Switzerland. 30. Penelope. 1956. 15 x lgVs- 4 colors, ed. 210 for IGAS. imp. CUNO. 31. Magdalene. 1956. 23 x i6 3 /4. colors, ed. 30. imp. B.S. Prize, Philadelphia Print Club. 32. Poet on Horseback. 1958. 2354 x 16%. 8 colors, ed. 25. imp. B.S. Prize, California Etchers. 33. Figure in a White Studio. 1958. 13^8x191/4. colors, ed. 40. imp. B.S. 34. Web of Dream. 1959. 22 x \d>V%. black & white, ed. 40. imp. CUNO. 35. Worship of the Past. 1959. 15V2 x 19V2. black & white, ed. 40. imp. CUNO. (then B.S. in color.) 36. Odysseus, i960. 26 3 /8Xi6%. color, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 37. The Fourth Seal. i960. 18^8 x 243/8- 5 colors, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 38. Angel with Freed Birds. 1961. 28 x 20. 7 colors, ed. 25. imp. B.S. Prize, American Color Print Society. 39. I, Lazarus. 1961. 23 3 ,4xi8. 7 colors, ed. 23. imp. B.S. 40. Bird Shapes. 1961. 14^8x26. 6 colors, ed. 22. imp. B.S. 41. Galilee. 1961. 24V2 x 17^. black & white, ed. 29. imp. TAMARIND. 42. Dark Bed. 1961. i8i4 x 28V2. 3 colors, ed. 28. imp. B.S. Prize, Society American Graphic Artists. 43. Two Figures. 1961. 2o!4 x 28 3 4. 8 colors, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 44. Juggler. 1962. 26V2X1934. 6 colors, ed. 30. imp. B.S. 45. Islands of E. L. 1962. 15^ x 21%. 4 colors, ed. 15. imp. B.S. (from drawing by E. L.) 46. Orpheus in Hell. 1962. 2814 x lg 3 /*. colors, ed. 30. imp. B.S. 47. Eagle in the Sky. 1962. igx24 3 /8- colors, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 48. Joshua. 1962. 24 1 / 4xi7 1 /£. colors, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 49. Trumpeter. 1962. 26 3 4xi7%. 3 colors, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 50. Spectre of Moby Dick. 1963. i8 3 ,4x26. colors, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 51. Woman Offering Life #2. ig63. 25 3 /4 x lgVi 5 colors, ed. 30. imp. DESJOBERT. Prize, P. A. F. A. 52. Low Entrance to a High Place. ig63. 25 x 18. color, ed. 30. imp. U. M. GRAFIK. 53. St. John — Eagle. ig64. 26^ x iS 1 /^ color, ed. 30. imp. B.S. 54- St. Mark — Lion. 1964. i8y6x 22 3 A- color, ed. 30. imp. B.S. 55. Studio Stairs. 1964. 24V2X15. color, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 56. City Church. 1964. 2^ 7 /sx i'jVs- color, ed. 40. imp. B.S. 57. Dogs and Broken Gallows. 1964. 18V6 x 24^. 4 colors, ed. 20. imp. B.S. 58. Winter Birds. 1964. 181/2x23. color, ed. 20. imp. B.S. 59. Ariadne and Daedalus. 1964. 1914 x 27^- color, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 60. Ariadne and Theseus. 1965. igx27 3 /8. color, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 61. Ariadne and Dionysus. 1965. 27 x 18%. color, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 62. St. Luke — Bull. 1965. 19x24. color, ed. 30. imp. B.S. 63. St. Matthew — Angel. 1965. 2634 xi8 3 /8. color, ed. 30. imp. B.S. 64. Studio Press. 1965. 24 1 Ax\ 1 ]. color, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 65. Studio Window. 1965. 24V2X15. color, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 66. Garden Door. 1965. i9%x28 3 /8. color, ed. 25. imp. B.S. 67. Angel with a Sword. 1966. 16^3x25. color, ed. 20. imp. B.S. 68. Triumph of the Whale. 1966. 22 x 2g 3 A. color, ed. 19. imp. B.S. 69. Figure in a Deserted Landscape. 1966. 20V2 x 26 3 /8. color, ed. 20. imp. B.S. 70. Mother of Birds. 1967. i8 1 / 4x26 1 / 4. 6 colors, ed. 25. imp. B.S. Note: Dimensions are in inches. Height precedes width. In the great majority of the prints the paper used is RIVES HEAVYWEIGHT, or RIVES BFK. During the war years (1942-1945) STRATH MORE BRISTOL was used for a few prints. Since 1963, some lithographs are printed on CRISSBROOK WATERLEAF, an English sheet. BS Clue to the Labyrinth The Lithographs of Benton Spruance 1928: Old Wall of Florence Amusement Park — Vienna Portrait— W. G. S. 1929: The Homing Instinct Stool Pigeon Portrait of Betty Schnabel Subway Madonna Conductor Woman's Head 1930: House at Eaux Bonnes Pyrenees #1 Pyrenees #2 Walled Town Card Players Portrait — Seldon Cary Blonde Head Breton Circus — Slackrope Breton Circus — Bareback Rider Luxembourg Gardens 1 931: April — Wet Confusion of Spring The Flashy Back Street Scene — Germantown Brief Interlude 1932: Young Colored Girl Bluebell Hill Approach to the Station Backfield in Motion Closed Road Self Portrait Spinner Play — Small Rain in the City Bulldog Edition 1933 .' Driving Tackle Shells of the Living Entrance to Germantown Cat and Busybody Ball Carrier Touchdown Play Thrill of the Game Late Departure Player Unmasked 1934: Changing City Middle Germantown Schuylkill Bridges End Sweep Head — Janet W. Conversation With Death Young Socialist Spinner Play — Large Highway Holiday 1935: Prelude to Rest Introduction to Love College Student Harps Once Played The Philatelists Visitor to Germantown Design for America #/ Shovel Pass — Large Design for America #2 Girl in Repose The Homecoming 1936: The Dreamer Siren Song Destiny Near Dasmascus Caustic Comment Short Gain Road From the Shore Collect For Peace Girl With Locket Traffic Control 1937 : Symbols of Grace Little Fencer Head — Ann Mills The People Work — Morning The People Work — Noon The People Work — Evening The People Work — Night Fencers 1938: Retrospect Pass Coming Up Macbeth — Act V Portrait of a Teacher Head — Jean T. Morning in Babylon Arrangement — For Jenny Supplies For Suburbia Girl With Gloves The People Play — Summer The Vagrant The Backs Move In 1939: Plans for the Future Seated Nude — To C. H. Figure With Still Life The Bridge From Race Street Girl With Pigtails Pass to the Flat Head of Mary The People Play — Spring The Bar at Doyle's Figure of Woman Flight From the Beach Portrait A t Dusk The 30's — Windshield The 30 's— Requiem The 30's — Graduation 1940: Peter Repose in Egypt Landscape With Figures Girl With Her Hands To Face Woman's Head Portrait — D. B.B. Young A be Lincoln American Pattern — The Barn 1941: Portrait of Jean Brief Balance Air Raid Gifts from the Kings Arrangement for Drums Opening Note Portrait — Toby M. The Conversion Lamentation Last Stop — Beach Haven Warn the Disunited 1942: Self Portrait at the Stone Farewell in the Dawn Triptych — Credo Adirondacks — The Sentinals Portrait — C. Z. Souvenir of Lidice 1943 •' Portrait — Henri Pieta — From the Sea Epiphany Riders of the Apocalypse The Second Front The Deliverance Susana and the Elders Fathers and Sons 1944: Resurrection Girls With Flowers End of Waiting Football Soldier and Chaplain Nero Ridge Valley Churches Tulpehocken Road 1945: Sonia and Her Cello Little Dead Blue Jay Ecclesiastes — Essay V Kim and Art Portrait — William Coale A Wind Is Rising and the Rivers Flow — Black & White Man Reading A Play A Wind Is Rising — Color 1946: Midsummer Spiel Venus — A wake! Ecclesiastes — Essay I Ecclesiastes — Essay II Ecclesiastes — Essay III Ecclesiastes — Essay IV 1947: Dream of Love Salome and John Night In Eden Women In Front of Their Houses Figure With Mirrors Behold — The Man Eyes for the Night — Black & White 1948: Eyes for the Night — Color No Home for a Bird Asylum World of One's Own Mary Sturgeon Lot's Wife Seminole Blouse Havoc in Heaven Somnambulist Newtown Towers To A Dead Child 1949: Soliloquy — Black & White Soliloquy — Color Fallen Angel Of Course He Will Come Set Pieces — Black & White Set Pieces — Color I'll Be What I Choose— Black & White' I'll Be What I Choose — Color St. Anthony 1950: Memorial — Color Broken Carousel — Black & White Broken Carousel — Color Lamentation — Color Variation Gift From Judith Jacob and the Angel Girl With Mask — Black ir White Girl With Mask — Color Salome and John — Color 1951: Hamadryas Ape Subway Playground — Black ir White Subway Playground — Color The Initiates Tarot Pyramid Curse God — And Die — Job My Hand I Lay Upon My Mouth — Job When I Laid the Earth's Foundations — Job Hast Thou Observed My Servant — Job Job's Comforters God Bless America 1952: Portrait — Mrs. C. S. Studio Piece Ahab's Revenge Self Portrait Towards Freedom Jacob and the Angel Shark and Sonar Triptych — The Long Night Fire's Out Climate of Fear — Color Studio Chair With Jeb Prometheus 1953: Ariadne — The Skein Ariadne and Daedalus Prometheus — Color Death of the Minotaur — Color Clue to the Labyrinth Triumph of the Minotaur St. Francis — The Field St. Francis — The Piazza St. Francis — The Market 1954: Daedalus and Icarus From Kill Devil Hill Portrait — Sandra Fortune Teller St. George St. Michael St. Jerome St. Gall Small Dancer Fragment The Centaurs — / — The Saint The Centaurs — // — The Lapith The Centaurs — 1/7 — Apotheosis The Centaurs — IV — The Poet The Centaurs — V — The Hero Drachma Priestess I 955 : Gertrude and the Birds Pholus in Hell Dark Angel Offering Easter Angel Paper Shapes Very Early in the Morning Priestess — Large Orange Priestess Two Angels Return of the Hero Man in Limbo Thorn Bush Water Jar Bird Cage — Black if White Bird Cage — Color 1956: Jacob and the Man — Color Young Painter Penelope The Deposition Magdalene Birds and Thorn Bush Figure — Female Red Recorder Portrait — Dr. E. W. I 957 : Portrait — Miss Ann Schnabel Jocasta Regina Piper Old Owl— Black ir White Old Owl — Color Head of Mary Judith — Portrait With Ponytail The Window — Day The Window — Night Remainders Anabasis — Set of 10 Anabasis — The March — Color 1958: Poet on Horseback Black Friday — Black & White Black Friday — Color Winter Portrait — The Scarf Nests in the Ivy Memory of Germantown Figure in a White Studio Pieta Manifestation With Wings Resurrection — Small Boy in Space — R.C. Summer Sleep 1959: Altar Mourning Figure Web of Dream Annunciation Worship of the Past Pygmalion — Small Return of the Goddess White Portrait Pygmalion — Large Seamarks — / — The Master of Stars Seamarks — 2 — The Tragediennes Seamarks — 3 — Stranger Whose Sail Seamarks — 4 — O Sea Which Swells Seamarks — 5 — The Patrician Women i960: King Mummer Artemis Odysseus The Fourth Seal Revelations Symbols Gettysburg — July 1 — The Cut Gettysburg — July 2 — Little Round Top Gettysburg — July 3 — The Angle Angel With Freed Birds 1 961: Portrait of Eloise Icarus With Angels I, Lazarus The Sea — Icarus The Sea — Galilee Bird Shapes Galilee — Black ir White Dark Bed Two Figures Damascus Road 1962: The Unicorn The Phoenix The Centaur The Sphinx Juggler Orpheus In Hell Islands of E. L. The Ladder Eagle in the Sky Eagle in the Sun Mother and Child Joshua The Trumpeter 1963: Woman Offering Life #/ Spectre of Moby Dick Elements Persons Reaching Homage to a Barn Colossus Woman Offering Life #2 The Survivors Living Rocks Northern Minotaur Minotaur With Bronze Horns Low Entrance to a High Place Daedalus Celebrated Icarus Mourned 1964: Monuments — Copenhagen Man Carrying His Dog Skyscape — To Ralph Hodgson St. John — Eagle St. Mark — Lion Studio Stairs City Church Dogs and Broken Gallows Priapus Ariadne and Daedalus Winter Birds Eclipse 1965: St. Luke — Bull St. Matthew — Angel Ariadne and Theseus Ariadne and Dionysus Studio Press Studio Window The Vise — Black & White Descent With Fire Figure Sleeping Shaft of Light Garden Door 1966: Birthday Print for L. J. R. Angel with a Sword Tobias and the Angel — Color The Vise — Color Triumph of the Whale ip6y: Figure in a Deserted Landscape Mother of Birds Tobias and the Angel — Black ir White ig6yig66-ig6j: 27 Color Lithographs "The Passion of Ahab" — Master of the Pequod Call Me Ishmael Harpooner and Monster The Whiteness of the Whale Strike Through the Mask The Albatross The Town-Ho's Story The Jeroboam The Jungfrau The Rosebud The Samuel Enderby The Bachelor The Rachel The Delight The Candles The Sphinx The Blue Whale The Spirit Spout Ahab Aloft — The First Day Ahab in the Jaws Death of Fedallah Ahab and Starbuck The Last Thrust Death of the Pequod The Vortex The Skyhawk Epilogue I, Lazarus Fathers and Sons Benton Spruance joined the faculty of what is now the Philadelphia College of Art in 1934. With the exception of leaves of absence for World War II and two Guggenheim Fellowships he has taught at the College continuously since then. When the College was re-organized in 1959 and academic rank assigned to the faculty he was among the first to be appointed to a full professorship. In his very quiet and gentle way, Benton Spruance is one of the formative forces at the Philadelphia College of Art. Young colleagues have developed and matured through their association with him, while generations of students have begun to understand the possibilities of prints and printmaking under his guidance. For students and faculty alike he has provided a sustaining spirit of human under- standing made visible through his technical knowledge and esthetic sensitivity. Recent graduates of the College will remember Benton Spruance not only for his work in the studio but also for his course in the History of Prints taught at the Rosenwald Collection. While surrounded by a wealth of original prints in the quiet of the study room at Alverthorpe he was able to bring something from his own experience which enabled members of the class to see and understand the work under discussion, their own work, and the world around them as well. The Philadelphia College of Art can justly say of Benton Spruance after more than thirty years' association what Chaucer said of his Clerk over five hundred years ago: Nought o word spak he more than was nede, And that was seyd in forme and reverence, And short and quik, and ful of hy sentence. Souning in moral vertu was his speche, And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche. Eyes for the Night Honors and Awards i 9 6y 1966 1966 i 9 6 5 1965 1963 i 9 6 5 1964 1962 1961 i960 i 959 1959 i 959 *957 i 95 6 i 95 6 J 955 i 954 J 953 1953 *953 i 95 i i 95 i 1930 i 949 1948 194J 1946 i 944 i 944 x 943 1 94 1 J 939 J 937 Honorary Member American Institute of Architects Blue Whale — Society of American Graphic Artists Prize The Spirit Spout — The Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts Pennell Medal Art Alliance Medal of Achievement Sketch Club Medal for Service to the Arts The Candles — The Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts Prize American Color Print Society Prize Woman Offering Life — The Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts Graphics Prize Dark Bed — Society of American Graphic Artists Purchase Prize Angel and Freed Bird — American Color Print Society First Prize White Figure — American Color Print Society First Prize Mourning Figure — Bay Printmakers First Prize Return of Goddess — National Academy Arms Prize Poet on Horse — California Etchers First Prize Black Friday — National Academy First Prize Magdalene — Lugano International Exhibition Thorn Bush — Lugano International Exhibition Bird Cage — Society of American Graphic Artists Prize Dancer — The American Color Print Society Prize St. Francis Piazza — National Academy of Design Prize Death of the Minataur — The Philadelphia Print Club Prize Philadelphia Print Makers — Philadelphia Print Club — First Prize Hast Thou Observed — The Philadelphia Art Alliance Prize Regional Print Exhibition — The Philadelphia Art Alliance — First Prize Guggenheim Fellowship Boston Print Makers First Prize Pennell Memorial Exhibition, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. — First Prize Audubon Artists First Prize The Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts — Beck Medal for Portrait Painting American Artists for Victory Exhibition of Prints, First Prize Laguna Beach Art Association, First Prize Laguna Beach Art Association, First Prize National Exhibition of American Lithography — Philadelphia Print Club — First Prize Eyre Medal The Philadelphia Water Color Club — Pennell Medal for Graphic Art i 9 2 9 , i 9 J2, i 9 j 9 : The Philadelphia Print Club Gribbel Prize One-Man Shows 1964: Beaver College Gallery 1964: Muhlenberg College 1964: Philadelphia Print Club 1962: Associated American Artists 1962: Reading Museum 1962: Sacramento Museum 1 96 1 : Edinboro State College i960: Rehn Gallery, New York City i960: The Philadelphia Print Club i960: The Sessler Gallery, Philadelphia i960: Woodmere Gallery, 25 Years in Retrospect i960: Redlands i960: Texas Western University i960: East Carolina College i960: Boston Library 1959: Utah State University 1959: I 959 J 959 i 95 8 J 957 1956 i 95 6 i 95 6 x 955 J 955 *955 !955 J 954 J 954 1954 The Philadelphia Museum College of Art Medal Chestnut Hill College Lehigh University The Sessler Gallery The Alverthorpe Gallery Louisiana State University West Chester Art Center The Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts Oklahoma Art Center Pennsylvania State University Dickinson College Rehn Gallery Wesleyan University George Washington University In Retrospect, Joslyn Museum, Omaha; Mt. Holyoke College; Swarthmore College Works in Public Collections — Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum, New York; Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; The Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C; The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; The New York Public Library and others. A Mural Painting is in the Municipal Court Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Member of the National Academy of Design and the Society of American Graphic Artists, New York; The Print Club and the Art Alliance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Board of Directors of the Fleisher Memorial; the City Art Commission, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; former member of the Pennell Purchase Commission, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; and past president of Artists' Equity. He is an Academician of the National Academy of Design. Benton Spruance was Director of the Department of Printmaking at the Philadelphia College of Art from 1934 to 1965. Ariadne and Theseus Design / Richard Hood Photography / Jack Simons Photograph of Benton Spruance / Biagio Pinto This catalog has been prepared at The Philadelphia College of Art. It is set in Baskerville and printed on Strathmore Cover and Text by The Drake Press.