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The Marchbanks Calendar: December by Harry Cimino
December 18, 2008


We've just turned the last page on this year's calendar and it's time to count down the days remaining in 2008. To take a good look at the last month of the year, I've chosen December from Harry Cimino's Marchbanks Calendar. The artist was born in Indiana in 1898 and died in New York in 1969. Not the longest life on record but certainly one that saw its share of changes, beginning while Queen Victoria was still in power, and ending when men were putting their footprints on the moon. Somewhere in between (as this woodcut is undated), Cimino crafted this image. From what I can gather, the work was likely done in the 1920s.

For me, it has that Currier and Ives feel of Americana deepened by the artist's choice of color. The red is vital to the sky and the church windows, while the gray-blue of the horse and riders carries most of the action (though the horse's hind legs seem to be lacking a certain rhythm). I like the woosh of the woman's scarf and the almost opposite effect of the man's blanket, which seems to be melting into the snow.

Cimino produced a calendar for the Marchbanks Company, and many of the illustrations are in American Art's collection. I hope we can look at more because they create miniature worlds that capture a time and place. Cimino also created woodcuts for book illustrations that also endear . . . and endure.


Posted by Howard on December 18, 2008 in American Art Here


Comments

It has a northern European feel.

I don't like the red--too hot.

Some like it hot, Backpages! I guess that's what makes horse races, or buggy rides in this case. Thanks for the comment.

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