Calm Before the Storm — Montauk Point
Etching by Samuel L. Margolies, c. 1930s
Calm Before the Storm - Montauk Point
Detail of Calm Before the Storm - Montauk Point
Title and Signature, Calm Before the Storm - Montauk Point
Title and Signature, Calm Before the Storm - Montauk Point
Samuel L. Margolies (1897-1974)
Calm Before the Storm [Montauk] Point
American: c. 1930s
Etching, uncolored
Signed in pencil, lower right: "S.L. Margolies"
Titled in pencil, lower left
11.75 x 10 inches, plate mark
13.5 x 11.5 inches, overall
$1,250

Landscape view of Montauk Point at the eastern tip of Long Island, showing the famous lighthouse under gathering clouds in moody light. The vantage point looks up at the lighthouse from just behind a small rocky rise, with a sliver of ocean visible in the distance to the right. The solid volumes and bold tonal contrasts are characteristic of Margolies' work, and the rich textural variations demonstrate his mastery of the etching medium. This print serves as a record of the appearance of the landscape and smaller buildings surrounding the lighthouse, which have changed somewhat in the decades since it was made. Margolies titled the work in pencil "Calm Before the Storm — Montaught Point," an apparent misspelling; the octagonal shape and dark central band of the lighthouse are unmistakably those of Montauk Point.

Samuel L. Margolies was an etcher, painter, teacher, writer and lecturer in New York City, where he was also born. He studied at Cooper Union Art School, the National Academy of Design, and with Victor Perard. Margolies was a member of the Society of American Etchers, American Printmakers and the Queensboro Society of Allied Arts and Crafts. He was a printmaker for the W.P.A. from 1935 to 1939. Margolies' work was displayed at the 1939 World's Fair in New York. That same year, he began working for the Bundy Corporation as a circuit maker.  His works are in the collections of the Society of American Etchers, the Library of Congress, the Mobile Museum of Art, the Georgia Museum of Art, the Asheville Art Museum and various embassies and federal buildings in Washington, D.C.

Condition:  Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified, with minor remaining toning, wear, handling.

References:

Falk, Peter Hastings, ed. Who Was Who in American Art.  Madison, Connecticut:  Sound View Press, 1985. p. 394.

"Samuel L. Margolies." Asheville Art Museum. 2012. http://www.ashevilleart.org/artists/samuellmargolies/ (8 June 2015).


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