'Birth Cabin' from Turzak's 'Abraham Lincoln Series in Woodcuts '
This woodcut by WPA artist Charles Turzak, is entitled 'Birth Cabin', which depicts the cabin where Abraham Lincoln was born. Charles Turzak, born in Streator, Illinois was a print maker, a painter, a muralist, a teacher and a graphic artist. He received his art education at the Art Institute of Chicago and continued his studies abroad. He won wide recognition as an artist/author and illustrator through his woodcut biographies of Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin as well as other American Statesmen. Visitors at Chicago’s Century of Progress exhibition in 1933 beheld an intriguing sight while strolling among the historically reconstructed buildings—Chicago artist Charles Turzak sitting in the re-created Lincoln-Berry store carving wood blocks. He was creating images of Lincoln’s life, including self-education, reading a book, law practice, political career, and assassination. Before the fair was over, Turzak had compiled the thirty-six black-and-white prints into a privately printed book, Abraham Lincoln: Biography in Woodcuts (Chicago, 1933). The book volume was limited to1500 copies. Inevitably, the books and the woodcut pages were separated for framing. This woodcut is one of four single Lincoln prints, which followed the pictorial book of 36 woodcuts, they were 'Birth Cabin', 'Lincoln Portrait', 'Prairie President', and 'Student Days'. This woodcut is titled 'Birth Cabin' by Turzak's hand, and bears Turzak's sealed signature as well as his hand-signed signature in the lower right of the woodcut image. This woodcut measures 7" x 8.5", the simple period black wood frame 7.25" x 8.75". It is in fine condition in its original frame. P733 $125