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Danse Macabre by Mabel Dwight

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Mabel Dwight was one of the most noted American printmakers of the 1920s and &apos;30s. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, she spent her childhood in New Orleans and San Francisco where she enrolled in art classes and joined the local Sketch Club. This professional organization of women artists offered opportunities for collaborations and exhibitions that were otherwise denied to women at that time. In 1903, she settled in Greenwich Village, New York and, three years later, married painter and etcher Eugene Higgins. Dwight set aside her artistic ambitions during her marriage, but when it ended after eleven years, she became a secretary at the Whitney Studio Club and resumed her studies. <br /><br />In 1926, Dwight visited Paris where, at age fifty-two, she discovered her medium: lithography. It was through printmaking that she was best able to express her vision of the comedie humaine. Her portraits and scenes of New Yorkers engaged in everyday activities, such as riding the subway or buying hats, demonstrate the compassion and humor with which she approached her subjects. Although satire propelled her initial success, her work during the Depression became more serious and politically-charged: she created anti-fascist images and participated in the New Deal’s Federal Art Project, for which she produced twenty-five lithographs that touched on various urban social and political issues. clara.nmwa.org CLARA
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