June 26-October 24, 2010
1916 Building Prints and Drawings Galleries
Born in Conneaut, Ohio, and raised in Youngstown, Mabel Amelia Hewit (1903-1984) lived in Cleveland the last 50 years of her life and exhibited works every year from 1935 to 1956 in the museum's May Show, an annual exhibition for regional artists. In 1933 she visited Provincetown, Massachusetts, and learned the white-line color woodcut method from its most famous practitioner Blanche Lazzell. Hewit explored and perfected this technique during her five-decade-long career, exemplifying America's interest in the color woodcut, a trend that began at the end of the 19th century. Influenced by Precisionism, Cubism, and Art Deco, Hewit experimented with modernist ideas, producing charming color woodcuts in a contemporary style. Multitalented, she also printed woodblocks on fabric and produced lithographs, watercolors, ceramics, and enamels on metal. In 1980, at the age of 77, Hewit remarked, "Art was my life."
Organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue for Midwest Modern: The Color Woodcuts of Mabel Hewit are made possible in part by the Print Club of Cleveland. The Cleveland Museum of Art is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this exhibition with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.