California artist Charles Frederick Surendorf (1906-1979) created over 250 prints between 1934 and 1971, hand impressions which he alone produced in editions of 100; there were never more than five editions of 100 each. This linocut is numbered in pencil "1st Ed/100" on lower center margin, making it a first edition. We've included photos* of him in his California studio; note the displays of his prints.
Surendorf used "battleship" (commercial grade) linoleum, hardened it by freezing and then used steel engraving tools; he called these artworks "linoleum engravings." He loved to travel, setting up studios in far flung places, including Tahiti, where he made this linocut of the waterfront in the capital city of Papeete.
The black and white scene was printed on fine wove paper circa 1940. The image size is 13 inches by 9 3/4 inches, exclusive of the plate mark; the framed size is 18 by 23 inches. The frame, newer than the print, is 3/4 inch wide wood with a coppery bronze finish that complements the print. It's covered with non-glare glass, with a wide white mat. The frame shop, Harriet Ray in Wheaton, Maryland, was founded in 1958 and is now closed; their label is on the reverse. Surendorf's signature is in pencil lower right, while the title, "Tahiti Waterfront-(Papeete)" is lower left.
This print is in excellent condition, as is the mat and glass. The frame has a few nicks and the dust paper on the back is very thin and is torn around the edges. The piece weighs about 4 3/4 pounds. There is a hanging wire installed and the artwork displays handsomely. It's a superb large print by an outstanding American artist.
Further history on this artist:
Charles Surendorf was a member of: The California Society of Etchers; The San Francisco Art Association; The Mother Lode Art Association; The Bay Region Art Association, Oakland, CA.
His works were exhibited at: The L.A. County Museum of Art, 1936; The Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939; The San Francisco Museum of Art, 1936-46; The De Young Museum, 1946; The Art Institute of Chicago; The National Academy of Design, NY and many others.
He is listed in "Artists in California, 1786-1940" by Edan Hughes and "Who's Who in American Art 1936-62."
The Smithsonian Institute, the Library of Congress, the DeYoung Museum, the California State Library and numerous other museums, galleries and private print collectors own large collections of Surendorf prints.
* Photos are from the Charles Surendorf II Art Foundation.