Harry Wickey achieved national recognition as an etcher and lithographer, switching to sculpture in 1938, after etching acids had taken a toll on his eyesight. He also produced paintings and mentored many younger artists and printmakers. Associated with the Ashcan School in the 1920s and 30s, he is known for his New York City scenes, Upstate New York landscapes and genre scenes. Born in Ohio, Wickey studied at the Detroit School of Fine Arts and served in France during World War I before moving to New York City. There he published his first etchings in 1919. Wickey received many honors including full membership in the National Academy of Design, Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships (1939 and 1940), and an award from the American Institute of Arts and Letters (1949). His autobiography, Thus Far: The Growth of an American Artist was published by the American Artists Group in 1941.
Wickey was an influential educator, teaching at his own school until 1928, and thereafter at the Art Students League in New York City, where his colleagues included John Sloan, a fellow Ashcan School painter. Wickey mentored many younger artists including Harry Sternberg, Cecil Bell, Don Freeman and William Shaldach, and was an early teacher of Barnett Newman. During his lifetime his works were acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, New York Public Library and Library of Congress, among others. He also exhibited at the Whitney Museum and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Today his papers are housed in the Syracuse University Library.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light overall toning and wear.
Falk, Peter Hastings, ed. Who Was Who in American Art. Madison, Connecticut: Sound View Press, 1985. p. 678.
“Harry Herman Wickey: Biography.” AskArt.com. 2000-2005. http://www.askart.com/AskART/artists/biography.aspx?artist=19836 (10 November 2005).
“Harry Wickey Papers.” Syracuse University Library. 22 September 2003. http://library.syr.edu/digital/guides/h/HarryWickeyPapers-Des.htm (10 November 2005).
Hoag, Betty. “Interview with Don Freeman.” Smithsonian Archives of American Art Oral History Interviews. 17 August 2005. http://www.aaa.si.edu/oralhist/freema65.htm (10 November 2005).
Yard, Sally. “Interview with Harry Sternberg.” Smithsonian Archives of American Art Oral History Interviews. 4 November 2004. http://www.aaa.si.edu/oralhist/sternb99.htm (10 November 2005).