Ethel Kirkpatrick


A June Day

color woodblock print; signed in pencil at lower right, Ethel Kirkpatrick, self-carved and self-printed, ca. 1910

10 7/8 by 16 1/8 in., 27.5 by 40.9 cm

Ethel Kirkpatrick studied art at the West London School of Art, Royal College of Art in Kensington, and for a short time at Académie Julian in Paris along with her sister. She also attended London's Central School of Arts and Crafts between 1887 and 1899, where she studied enameling and course in color woodblock printing from Frank Morley Fletcher (1866-1949) who was one of the earliest and most influential British artists to utilize and teach Japanese-style color woodblock printing in the West.

Kirkpatrick produced enamel jewelry, oil paintings, watercolors, and color woodblock prints, and she favored natural subjects, particularly maritime scenes. Although she was multi-talented and very influential among early British color woodblock print artists, she was not prolific and must have kept her print editions very small. Kirkpatrick almost never dated her prints, and scholarship is woefully lacking on her life and work. Her prints are frequently assigned a 1920s circa date, likely because there are records of her including prints in various group exhibitions held in the 1920s. However, there are extant two woodblock prints extant dated 1903 (a Venice scene and another illustrating two figures under a tree), and she included two different woodblock prints, titled 'The Stepping Stones' and 'Seagulls' in the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904. As an early student of Frank Morley Fletcher (1868-1949) from the short period of time that he taught at the London's Central School of Arts and Crafts in 1898, it seems likely that many of her undated smaller works were carved and initially printed from circa 1900, and perhaps moving up to larger size sheets in circa 1905-1915.

Katherine Martin, Highlights of Japanese Printmaking: Part Three - The International Perspective, New York: Scholten Japanese Art, 2008, no. 25

Holme, Geoffrey, ed., Modern Woodcuts and Lithographs by British and French Artists, 1919, p. 33
Chazen Museum of Art, Color Woodcut International, 2006, p. 37
Barbara J. Thompson, The International Block Print Renaissance, Then and Now: Block Prints in Wichita, Kansas, A Centennial Celebration, 2022, pp. 37-51; p. 230; pp. 346-347
(inv. no. 10-2876)

price: $2,000 (reserved)


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site last updated
October 3, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475