The Nature of William S. Rice: Arts and Crafts Painter and Printmaker
The Nature of William S. Rice: Arts and Crafts Painter and Printmaker offers a rare glimpse into the private world of William S. Rice (1873–1963), an artist and avid naturalist known for his ability to refine nature to its simplest forms. With an illustrative sensibility, the artist took a special interest in Japanese block prints and ukiyo-e (“pictures of the floating world”) and transformed the Japanese polychrome technique into graphic distillations of California’s untrammeled scenery, favoring strong, stylized lines and planes of pure color. Although particularly well known for his block prints and as author of two books for students on the process, he was also an accomplished watercolorist and often traveled to sketch on site in the peace of nature, or as he put it, in the “glorious woods,” producing evanescent visions of Santa Cruz, Stockton, and Yosemite, among other sites. The Nature of William S. Rice: Arts and Crafts Painter and Printmaker sheds light on many of the artist’s achievements, including several never-before-exhibited pieces capturing the pristine California landscape before urban development.