This website is designed to introduce visitors to the color block prints of Frances H. Gearhart (1869-1958). In the mid 1990s when I first became acquainted with Gearhart's work, I thought that her prints contained the most striking and beautiful images of Western United States (mainly California) landscapes by an American block print artist that I had ever seen. I wanted to learn more about her and to see more of her work. I soon learned that this was not so simple. There was no catalogue raisonné of her prints. Only occasional information was available about exact dates or edition size of different prints. Even titles proved problematic because many prints did not have titles, and different dealers and institutions sometimes assigned different titles to the same image.
I created this website to share all the images of Frances Gearharts color block prints that I have so far been able to locate. I have not included watercolors, black and white images, or the series of prints she did in collaboration with her sisters Edna and May for Lets Play, a childrens book that was not published in their lifetime but is now available from the Book Club of California. Although you will find many Gearhart prints on this web site (210 as of April, 2021, the collection is still not complete. I estimate that I may be missing around 25 to 50 other color block prints that she made. Although Gearhart created most of her prints between 1918 and 1940, I have not been able to resolve many questions about more specific dates for individual prints because she usually did not include a date on her prints. In some cases one can make estimates based on when various prints were shown at exhibits. Dealers, auction houses, museums and libraries also provided me with possible dates. I also relied on information obtained from Susan Futterman and Roger Genser who were co-curators of a large 2009-2010 exhibit of Gearhart's work at the Pasadena Museum of California Art and even more recently there was new information contained in the Wichita Art Museum's 2020-2021 excellent exhibition of Gearhart prints curated by Roger Genser. As for edition size, as far as I can tell it is almost always 50 or less. In the few cases where exact edition size was noted by someone, I have included this information.
If you own or know of the location of a print by Frances Gearhart that you do not see here, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If I can obtain more images of her work, perhaps a book of all of her color block prints will be possible. Also, because I do not have publication ready photos of all the jpeg images that I have included on this website, I would appreciate your contacting me if you own any Gearhart prints. Sometimes different copies of the same print look a little different and I may not have the best one. Also, if you have any other information about Frances Gearhart's life and/or work that you could share, please contact me.
I hope that you enjoy the images that you see here and find the other information that I have provided of interest.
Harold Leitenberg, Ph.D
Last modified April, 2021
Copyright © 2011 Harold Leitenberg