1938, printed 1948
(American, born Germany, 1881–1971)
Color woodcut with aluminum leaf
John L. Severance Fund 1992.337
© Ann Baumann Trust
Catalogue raisonné: Chamberlain 156; Acton, Krause & Yurtseven 57
Night Ceremony, one of Baumann’s very few abstract compositions, represents ornamented fragments of Native American pottery overlaid and jigsawed together. A collector of Native American ceramics, Baumann wrote, “Pot shards are a kind of scrambled history of New Mexico with essential words omitted that archaeologists are forever trying to find.” Two blocks were used to print Night Ceremony: one for dark gray and the other for adhesive. While the adhesive was still tacky, thin leaves of aluminum were applied side by side. The gray ink, aluminum leaf, and negative space (the white of the paper) create the image that simulates the jet black and burnished luster of Santa Clara Pueblo pottery.
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