JOHN W. WINKLER (American / 1890-1976)

John William Joseph Winkler was born in Vienna, Austria. At the age of 16 he went to the USA to seek his fortune, settling in San Francisco as it rebuilt following the devastating earthquake of 1906. In 1911 Winkler entered the San Francisco Institute of Art (then known as the Mark Hopkins Institute), where he studied etching under Frank van Sloun. John W. Winkler quickly became one of America's foremost etchers, renowned for always working directly on the plate in front of the motif, which gives his work an Impressionistic liveliness and immediacy. The etchings he created in San Francisco between 1915 and 1921 are the basis of his lasting fame; in 1924 the Gazette des Beaux-Arts declared that San Francisco was to Winkler what Tahiti had been for Gauguin. Other writers compared him to Whistler. In 1921 John Winkler moved to Paris, and in 1925 to London, before returning to San Francisco in 1929. After the market for etchings slumped following the Wall Street Crash, Winkler turned increasingly to other media, creating jewelry and hand-carved and decorated wooden boxes, made from wood picked up as he hiked the Sierra mountains. He returned to etching in his final year, when he finished old plates and printed small editions of over 40 previously unissued etchings. In all, Winkler created about 600 etchings, copies of which are in many major museums. He was closely associated with fellow etchers Roy Partridge, John Taylor Armes, and Arthur Heintzelman. See: Mary Millman & Dave Bohn, Master of Line: John W. Winkler, American Etcher.

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Selected prints by JOHN W. WINKLER

Ferme normande, 1924

View all available prints by JOHN W. WINKLER