TN HISTORY + HERITAGE
The Life & Work of Ernest A. Pickup Book and Display
January 16 - January 31, 2011
This display includes Ernest Pickup prints, as well as some of the original woodblocks used to print them. Ernest A. Pickup (1887-1970) was one of Nashville's first commercial artists. He produced thousands of illustrations and commercial designs throughout a career that spanned over fifty years. Today he is best remembered for the fine quality black and white woodblock prints he produced during the Depression years of the 1930s.
Inspired by Thomas Hart Benton and other exponents of the Regionalism movement, his prints reflect historic places of interest in Nashville and rural scenes of nature in and around his home in Brentwood. He exhibited nationally throughout the 1930s, and in 1937 one of his prints was selected by the Society of American Etchers for inclusion in a tour of American prints in Europe. Recently his work was included in print exhibitions at the Georgia Museum of Art (2007) and the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art in Alabama (2008). Little has been written on print making in Tennessee, and this catalogue raisonn of Pickup's oeuvre provides a prime source of information on this long neglected period of art history. Besides a biographical overview and memoirs by the artist's daughter, this work also includes over fifty reproductions of rare prints, many of which have not been seen in over a half a century.