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12th & Chestnut, St. Louis Etching

Charles Eames

c. 1930

Charles built a press to print his own lithographs and etchings, such as this one, entitled 12th and Chestnut. He often used St. Louis architecture he admired as subject matter.

“12th + Chestnut St. Louis” and “C. O. Eames” are written in pencil below the image.

  • Medium:Printmaking
  • Dimensions:9 x 7 in. (22.9 x 17.8 cm)
  • Item:A.2019.1.056
Curatorial Notes
The majority of Charles Eames’s etchings and lithographs were produced around 1927–1932, and many convey his great passion for architecture. This small but accomplished example features St. Louis’s Neo-Gothic Bell Telephone building, which was completed in 1926 by architects Mauran, Russell & Crowell. At the time it was Missouri’s tallest building and an early Midwestern example of the setback (an architectural element of ancient origins, featuring step-like recessions that served to distribute weight). A similar Eames lithograph titled Tenth Street, 1930, won first prize in the St. Louis’s Artists Guild Annual Black and White Art contest and features an alternate view of the Bell building. Eames obtained his own lithography press in 1927. He worked for the architectural firm of Trueblood and Graf, St. Louis, from 1928–1930 before opening his own office with colleague Charles Gray.

Rachael Blackburn Cozad