Museum displays rare, complete set of Fred Machetanz prints
November 11, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 11, 2011
Sarah Henning (907) 929-9231 (w) (907) 250-3352 (c)
Anchorage Museum displays rare, complete set of Fred Machetanz prints
“The Fifty Stone Lithographs of Fred Machetanz”
On view Nov. 29 through Feb. 26, 2012
Fred Machetanz (1908-2002) was one of the state’s most popular artists, known for his paintings and prints depicting daily life in Alaska. One of his most impressive accomplishments was the creation of 50 stone lithographs between 1946 and 1980. He printed just 100 of each design.
Today, Machetanz’s 50 lithographs are some of his most sought-after work. Only three public institutions are known to have complete sets. “The Fifty Stone Lithographs of Fred Machetanz” exhibition displays the Anchorage Museum’s rare, complete set of Machetanz lithographs featuring beautiful renderings of Alaskans, Alaska Native traditional life, wildlife and more. The exhibition is on view Nov. 29 through Feb. 26, 2012 at the Anchorage Museum.
Often Machetanz’s lithographs combine portraiture and close ethnographic observation. For instance, “Eskimo Mother” is a tender depiction of mother and child, but it also documents the traditional way women carried babies on their backs, leaving their hands free for chores.
“Old Alaska is rapidly disappearing, and I want to preserve what I can before it too is gone,” Fred Machetanz said in 1965. “In a way I want to do for Alaska what Remington did for the Old West.”
Fine art lithography is a notoriously frustrating medium. First an image is drawn with a greasy substance onto a flat, prepared stone. Then, the image is etched into the stone’s surface, so the grease etching will repel ink. One-by-one, the stone is inked and an impression is made on paper. If one thing goes wrong, the print is irreparable.
The Anchorage Museum’s set of Machetanz lithographs was donated by former Alaska National Insurance Company chairman George Suddock and his wife, Linda.
The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to share and connect Alaska with the world through art, history and science. Learn more at www.anchoragemuseum.org.