Art Of The Day

Happy Birthday, Edwin Tunis!

Born in Cold Spring Harbor, New York on this day in 1897, Tunis had many professional passions. He was an accomplished muralist, painter, author, book illustrator, theater set designer, actor, and radio announcer. Fascinated by mechanical drawings, Tunis published several pictorial histories of technological innovations, including the descriptively-titled “Wheels: A Pictorial History,” “Weapons: A Pictorial History,” and “Oars, Sails and Steam: A Picture Book of Ships.”

This same attention to technical details is apparent in this woodcut of a plum tree. Created for the American Block Print Calendar for 1937, this stark image renders plum blossoms in brilliant white against a deeply shadowed and intricately textured hillside. 


Plum Tree from American Block Print Calendar for 1937

Edwin Tunis (American, 1897 – 1973)

Plum Tree from American Block Print Calendar for 1937

, 1936
Woodcut, 8 3/16 x 7 in. (31 x 18 cm)
Gift of James A. Leach and Elisabeth F. Leach, 2015.330c