Julius John "J.J." Lankes
(American, 1884-1960) noted artist, illustrator, engraver, woodcut print artist, author, lecturer, costume & scenery designer, and college professor primarily known for his woodcut prints and his artistic collaboration with friend and American poet Robert Frost (American, 1874-1963) whose friendship spanned over forty years. Lankes was born in Buffalo, NY to parents of German heritage and graduated from the Buffalo Commercial and Electro-Mechanical Institute in 1902. From 1908-circa 1910 he studied at the Art Students League in Buffalo, NY. From 1912-13 he studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, under Philip Leslie Hale (American, 1865-1931) and William McGregor Paxton (American, 1869-1941), Boston, MA. He also studied with the artists Ernest Fosbery (Canadian, 1874-1960) and Mary B.W. Coxe (American, -1922). Lankes produced his first woodcut in 1917 and over the course of his expansive career produced over 1,300 woodcut designs, many of which have been included in several books, magazines and various other publications including his own. Collaborations also included other well known poets, authors, publishers and artists like friend, Charles Ephraim Burchfield (American, 1893-1967), of which eleven well known woodcut designs were made from Burchfield’s drawings.
During the 1930’s, Lankes taught art for seven years at Wells College in Aurora, NY. In the early 1940’s, during the World War II years, he joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, superseding NASA-National Aeronautics and Space Administration), as head of technical illustrating in the reproduction section of Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, Langley, VA. Lankes exhibited regularly during his career and his works can be found in many museums, public and private collections in the United States, Canada and worldwide such as; The Library of Congress and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, both in Washington, DC, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA) in NYC, the British Museum, London, England and the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY to name a few. Memberships included the Society of American Graphic Artists, the American Artists Professional League, the Prairie Print Makers, the California Society of Print Makers, the Print Society of England, and the Saturday Sketch Club of Buffalo. In 1954 he was elected Academician Member at the National Academy of Design in New York City. Lankes maintained his home and studio both in Gardenville, NY and Hilton Village, Newport News, VA.
J. J. Lankes has been described as 'one of America’s foremost graphic artists.' Not only was he 'arguably the first genuine woodcut artist this country produced', he was the close friend of such poets and writers as Robert Frost and Sherwood Anderson, and author of A Woodcut Manual, the first reliable and comprehensive book on woodcutting published in North America, which appeared while he was at Wells. Lankes was commissioned on a regular basis to illustrate books, but the most famous of his designs were undoubtedly the ones he created for Robert Frost’s poetry.
 - Welford Dunaway Taylor
In his 1934 book No Swank
, the American novelist Sherwood Anderson wrote, “I like things in my dining-room that arouse, that awakens thoughts in me. So I have these Lankes woodcuts... I honor him for his realism. The man has feeling. He has that odd quality, so infinitely valuable, the feeling for things, for the reflected life in things.”
Lankes produced woodcuts not only to illustrate Frost's poems but also various other works by notable authors and poets such as; Ellen Glasgow’s (American, 1873-1945) Barren Ground
(1925), Roark Bradford’s (American, 1896-1948) John Henry
(1931), Sherwood Anderson’s (American, 1876-1941) Perhaps Women
(1931), Thomas Gray (English, 1716-1777) & Pulitzer prize-winning poet Robert Peter Tristram Coffin’s (American, 1892-1955) Gray's Elegy: An Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
with 30 woodcuts (1940), Beatrix Potter’s (English, 1866-1943) Wag-By-Wall
(1944) and August William Derleth’s (American, 1909-1971) Country Poems
(1956) to name a few. Lankes published some of his own woodcuts, how-to manuals, and had many of his own articles in numerous magazines and publications. Some of his better known works include Virginia Woodcuts
(1930) and A Woodcut Manual
(1932). He also produced technical illustrations from his work at NACA, designed and cut numerous bookplates and enjoyed making holiday greeting cards. A list of published works about and by Lankes are listed below.
“One of the most delightful ways of utilizing the woodblock is in the making of holiday greetings. I have always thought there is a homelier, friendlier ‘feel’ to the wood than to any other medium.”
- J.J. Lankes
“…[Lankes’s] gallant and impractical dedication to art in the midst of the commonplace…He never fled to the big city or to the artist colonies for support. He fought it out in a small town or in the country. He is essentially rural in his expression, never urban. He really distrusts the big city and what it stands for. Suspicious of big enterprise, modern industry, he is all for the little man, for handicraft and hand-work. His woodcuts are of the country, and have the smell and feel of the country in them.”
 - Carl Zigrosser, Curator of Prints at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
1884- Born, August 31st, to John Lankes Jr. and Elizabeth (née Adam) Lankes, parents of German heritage, father worked in a lumber mill, Buffalo, NY.
1890-99- Attended public schools in Buffalo, NY through ninth grade making above average grades and excelled at penmanship and drawing.
1899-June 22nd, Lankes is admitted to Buffalo High School, but decided to work as a laborer for a manufacturer of cooking products, Buffalo, NY.
1902- October 21st, graduated from the Buffalo Commercial and Electro-Mechanical Institute, as a Junior Engineer, Buffalo, NY. Began working for a patent attorney and produced a finished patent drawing within his first month of employment.
circa 1903-05- Freelanced as a draughtsman, specialized in patent drawings, Buffalo, NY.
1905- Took an International Correspondence School art course, Buffalo, NY.
1906- January 21st, published his first drawings in the Buffalo Times
, Buffalo, NY. In February, he began producing drawings for an adding machine patent-the most expansive patent claim granted prior to the advent of the computer age: some 200 drawings illustrating 1,000 claims, Buffalo, NY.
1907- Took another International Correspondence School art course (in drawing) beginning his pursuit of art, Buffalo, NY.
1908-circa 1910- Studied at the Art Students League of Buffalo (beginning October 1st, 1908), received scholarships for printing and drawing, first painting on record, “Bottle and Bowl” (Nov. 4th ,1908), Buffalo, NY.
c1908-1917- During this time period Lankes produced over 800 oil paintings, Buffalo, NY.
circa 1909- Continued to work as a draughtsman Buffalo, NY.
1910- Exhibited, group show, Art Students League, won scholarship for Men’s Life Class, second place for Composition and third place for Sketch Class from Model, Albright Art School, Buffalo, NY. Organized the “Saturday Sketch Club”, with several fellow free-thinking art students who had rebelled against the dogmatic administration at the Art Students League and several permanent friendships formed with various Club members, Buffalo, NY.
1910-11- Continued freelance technical drawing, Buffalo, NY.
1911- February18-26, exhibited, group show, “1st Exhibition of Outdoor Paintings”, 130 sketches shown including landscapes, cloudscapes, marine scenes, winterscapes, cityviews and figurative work, Buffalo Camera Club (Elmwood Ave. & West Utica St.), Buffalo, NY. After receiving numerous desirable applications for membership in the early part of 1911, the Saturday Sketch Club considered updating their constitution to allow the change in the clause limiting membership. December 9-18, exhibited, group show, “2nd Exhibition of Outdoor Paintings”, 125 paintings shown including landscapes, cloudscapes, marine scenes, winterscapes, cityviews and figurative work, Buffalo Camera Club (Elmwood Ave. & West Utica St.), Buffalo, NY.
1912-13- Studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, under Philip Leslie Hale (American, 1865-1931) and William McGregor Paxton (American, 1869-1941); formed the idea of producing authentic “chapbook” greetings, featuring original rather than simulated woodcuts, Boston, MA.
1913- Left Boston, MA. October 12-21, exhibited, group show, “3rd Exhibition of Outdoor Paintings”, in the rooms of the Buffalo Camera Club, Buffalo, NY.
1914- October 31st, Lankes married Edee Maria Bartlett, Buffalo, NY.
1915- August 30th, their first child Julius Bartlett was born. Lankes worked as foreman of the Drafting Room at Newton Arms, a sporting rifle factory in Buffalo, NY, to help support his family.
1916- Moved to “The Shack” 3550 Clinton St., built by himself and his brother Frank, Gardenville, NY.
1917- February 10th, recorded his first genuine woodcut print “Flying Gosling”, using a V-cutter, intended for finishing gun barrels, on a piece of apple block, from a storm that had blown down some apple trees in his father’s garden. April 6th, their second son John Mosely was born (the same day the U.S. entered WWI), Gardenville, NY.
1918- Briefly worked as a carpenter. October 1st, began working for National Aniline and Chemical, Buffalo, NY. Purchased home at 48 Orchard Avenue, Gardenville, NY. Was impressed by Robert Frost’s poems in The New Poetry
circa 1919- Purchased a flat-bed printing press for printing woodblocks from a junk dealer. Lankes cut two of his most famous early prints; “Meeting House (at Springbrook, NY)”, and “Sleigh Ride”, Gardenville, NY.
1919- September 8-30, exhibited, solo show, "Woodcuts by Julius J. Lankes", twenty-one prints from wood blocks to include; Millet's "Man with a Hoe" (artist's brother served as model), "Jolly Christmas", "Philosopher" (cover of exhibit catalog), "Reaper", "Landscape", Rodin's "Thinker", "Peanut Man", "Toad and Toad Stools", "Digger", "The Sleigh Ride", "Meeting House" (at Springbrook, NY), "Three Ships", "Church in Winter" (AKA "Saint John's Church"), "Angel", "Dusk-Man with a Hoe" (AKA "Sundown, Man with a Hoe", artist's brother served as model), "Portico" (Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY), "Shepherd", "White Cat", "Automobile", "Walt Whitman", and "Deserted House", Goodspeed’s Book Shop, No. 5A Park St., Boston, MA.
1921- Having only produced about 100 woodcuts by then, Lankes was the subject of a laudatory pamphlet J.J. Lankes Painter-Graver on Wood
, by Bolton Brown, published by Alfred Fowler, Kansas City, MO. October 5th, their first daughter Emily Elizabeth is born.
1922- Lankes left National Aniline and Chemical and became a freelance woodcut artist.
Frank J. Lankes, brother of the artist, published Lankes, His Woodcut Bookplates
, by Wilbur Macey Stone, under imprint “Beneath the Apple Tree in Gardenville, N.Y.” Introduced to the work of artist Charles Ephraim Burchfield (American, 1893-1967) who he soon became good friends with. Lankes cut what many believe to be one of his best prints, “Cider Mill, I”, (Gardenville, NY), and cut on an old end grain of maple, Gardenville, NY. September, exhibited, group show of lithographs, etchings, aquatints, drypoints, wood engravings, with six Lankes woodcut bookplates shown, in the Print Galleries, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY.
1923- Corresponded with and began artistic collaboration with the noted poet Robert Frost (American, 1874-1963) whose friendship with would last more than forty years. Made first woodcuts of Pennsylvania Dutch barns which later included depictions of barns located near Adamstown, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Dillsburg, Elizabethtown, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lititz, Millersburg, Newville, Shiremanstown, Summit, Waynesboro, Wellsville, and Wescoesville. Illustrated Frost’s collection of poems from New Hampshire
, and also did five woodcut illustrations for Robert Frost’s poem “Star Splitter”, published in Century
magazine, September issue. Illustrated Robert Frost’s New Hampshire
, published by H. Holt & Co. Is expert witness in an adding machine patent lawsuit. Lankes’ father died.
1923-27- Collaborated with artist and friend Charles Ephraim Burchfield (American, 1893-1967), by engraving eleven of his drawings on wood, Buffalo, NY.
1924- First met Robert Frost in person at his home in Shaftsbury, Vermont. Attempted commercial publication of Christmas cards with his brother Frank. December 20th, their second daughter Elizabeth Bartlett was born, Gardenville, NY.
1925- After a brief visit to Europe which yielded many sketches, Lankes and his family moved to Hilton Village in July, Newport News, VA.
1926- Executed many woodcuts from his sketches made on his European trip in 1925. Began work on illustrations for Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
(on which he worked intermittently for 14 years) which later featured thirty woodcut illustrations by Lankes (1940). Sherwood Anderson, editor-publisher of a Virginia newspaper invited correspondences with Lankes which continued to Anderson’s death in 1941. Freelanced as commercial artist and book illustrator. Exhibited, the second annual exhibition of “Fifty Prints of the Year”, given under the auspices of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, (from a traveling exhibition of the “Fifty Prints of the Year” in the past years, shown in 30 cities, along with “Fifty Books of the Year” and “Commercial Printing”), at the Art Center, Brooklyn, NY.
1927- Produced several woodcuts of unrestored subjects in colonial Williamsburg, VA, with the restoration program having begun in 1926. December, exhibited, group show, annual exhibition of and sale of greeting cards designed by American artists, Art Alliance of America, Art Center, Brooklyn, NY.
1928- Illustrated Robert Frost’s book, West Running Brook
, made the woodcuts at the poet’s Vermont home. Illustrated Charles Malam’s volume of poetry Spring Plowing
. Continued commercial work doing bookplates, Christmas greeting cards etc. Continued to work on Thomas Gray’s Elegy
1929- Exhibited, solo show, “Catalog of An Exhibition Of Woodcuts By J.J. Lankes. Albright Art Gallery. October 6 to 27, 1929”, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY. Exhibited, group show, “Third Annual Exhibition of American Block Prints [Print Club of Philadelphia]”, 127 prints by as nearly as many artists, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Exhibited, group show, from the James O. Leippert collection of Kingston, NY, 2nd floor corridor, State Library, Albany, NY. Commissioned to cut numerous blocks for Rockwell Kent designs. Illustrated A Victorian Village
, by Lizette Woodworth Reese. Spent most of the summer at Robert Frost’s newly acquired “Gulley Farm” in South Shaftsbury, VT, helping him with the renovation of the farmhouse, and produced numerous sketches and woodcuts during his time there. Exhibited, group show of lithographs, etchings, and wood engravings, fourth annual exhibition of the “Fifty Prints of the Year”, Institute of Graphic Arts, Art Center, Brooklyn, NY.
1930- Lankes and his Hilton Village neighbor Eager Wood of the Virginia Press, collaborated on and published Virginia Woodcuts
, folio-sized, limited edition volume of 24 prints of rural Virginia scenes. Illustrated Charles Malam’s Upper Pasture
. Exhibited, three man show (with Leon Kroll and Ernest Lawson), The Art Gallery of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. February, exhibited, group show, “Birds and Beasts”, etchings and woodcuts in the Print Galleries on first floor, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY.
1931- January, Lankes is featured in The Virginia Quarterly Review
, “J.J. Lankes and His Woodcuts”, by Sherwood Anderson, which featured three of Lankes’s woodcuts. Roark Bradford’s John Henry
is published by Harper & Brothers, NY. Sherwood Anderson’s Perhaps Women
is published with Lankes illustrations, published by Horace Liveright, NYC.
1932- Persuaded by Robert Frost, Lankes accepted a lectureship as a visiting Professor of Art at Wells College in 1932, financed by the Carnegie Foundation (Carnegie Fund for Practical Fine Arts) and taught there for the next seven years, Aurora, NY. Lankes wrote and illustrated A Woodcut Manual
, published by Henry Holt. December, exhibited, solo show, Wells College, sponsored by Lankes, the show composed chiefly of the woodcuts from the Virginia Woodcuts
collection and scenes from New England and Europe, Morgan Hall, Aurora, NY. Lankes’ mother died. Visited his family in Virginia during the summers.
1933- Exhibited, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC. Exhibited, group show of over 100 prints, “The First Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Woodcuts”, by the Woodcut Society of Kansas City, MO, in the Print Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Exhibited, group show of prints from the graphic artists of 1932, which included thirty-three lithographs, seven woodcuts, nine etchings and one airbrush print, “Fifty Modern Prints”, Weyhe Gallery, NYC.
1934- October, exhibited, group show, “Exhibition of Polish and Chinese art, American pottery and woodcuts”, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY.
1936- September, exhibited, solo show of woodcuts, in the art gallery of the Utica Public Library, Utica, NY. November, exhibited, group national show by the American Artists Group, exhibit of original etchings, woodcuts and lithographs, Art Exhibit Room at Macmillan Hall, with a gallery lecture by Lankes held on the exhibit opening Monday afternoon, November 9th, Wells College, Aurora, NY. December, exhibited, group show of etchings, woodcuts and lithographs by members of the American Artists Group, in the art gallery of the Utica Public Library, Utica, NY.
1937- Exhibited, solo show, Wood and Linoleum block prints, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
1938- Exhibited, group show which included the Rochester Print Club, “The Finger lakes Exhibit”, the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY. Exhibited, group show of etchings, aquatints, drypoints, engravings, woodcuts, wood engravings, lithographs and stencils, by the American Artists Group, Knox School, Cooperstown, NY. December, exhibited, solo show of woodcuts (in tandem with a few other separate exhibits being shown), Cayuga Museum of History and Art, Auburn, NY.
1939- Is terminated from his teaching position at Wells College, Aurora, NY.
1940- Exhibited, Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture, woodcuts were shown on the 1st floor of Building 2 at the School of Architecture, included were several prints from the Dard Hunter Paper Museum, more than fifty bookplates and actual wood blocks, Cambridge, MA. A special edition of Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
is published with thirty woodcut illustrations by Lankes and Preface by Pulitzer prize-winning poet Robert P. Tristram Coffin, Harper & Brothers publishing. Is divorced from his wife Edee Bartlett Lankes.
1941- Exhibited, solo show of fifty woodcut bookplates, Montclair Art Association, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ. Is elected to membership in the National Academy of Design, NYC. July, Exhibited, solo show of woodcuts, Person Hall Art Gallery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC.
1943- February, Exhibited, group show, included were the Robert Vose Galleries Boston, MA watercolors, contest prints from the Auburn camera Club and J.J. Lankes illustrations from Thomas Gray’s Elegy
, Cayuga Museum of History and Art, Auburn, NY.
Circa 1943- Exhibited, group show, Lankes woodcuts shown, the Grand Central Art Galleries, NYC.
1943-1950- During the WWII years, Lankes joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, superseding NASA-National Aeronautics and Space Administration), as head of technical illustrating in the reproduction section of Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, Langley, VA.
, by Beatrix Potter is published with illustrations by Lankes.
1945- Post-WWII, freelanced as a woodcut artist.
1950- May 5th, Lankes is relieved of duties as head of the technical illustration section of NACA for reasons apparently related to bureaucratic politics, Langley, VA.
1951- Weather Sayings
, by Marvin H. Neel is published containing the last major group of Lankes book illustrations. Moved to Durham, NC.
1954- Elected Academician Member, National Academy of Design, the requisite self-portrait featured a framed woodcut hanging in the background, NYC.
1958- June 11th, Lankes made his last recorded woodcut, No. 1224, “W.H.H.-Spot for Herb West”, Durham, NC.
1959- Suffered a debilitating stroke, Durham, NC.
1960- Died, April 22nd, Durham, NC. He was buried April 25th, Acacia Park Cemetery, North Tonawanda, NY.
1971- Exhibited, retrospective show of a Robert Frost Collection and Memorabilia loaned by Frost’s daughter Leslie Frost-Ballentine and Elenor White Frost, two Lankes woodcuts were shown; one of Frosts’ Barn and home in South Shaftsbury, NH, in the Green Room of Griffiths Art Center, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY.
1978- Exhibited, retrospective woodcut show, “J. J. Lankes Woodcuts”, Burchfield Center (now the Burchfield-Penney Art Center), 96 works; of WNY sites, the eleven Charles E. Burchfield pieces cut from his drawings, early portraits and preparatory drawings, as well as a small group of work from subsequent periods, included in the exhibition but not listed in the catalog were a group of the artist’s bookplates, Christmas cards and books from which he did illustrations, Rockwell Hall, State University College at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.
2001- Exhibited, retrospective show, “Charles Burchfield: Works on Paper”, a show of watercolors, drawing and prints at The Whitney Museum of American Art, (two sets of the Burchfield-Lankes wood engravings in their permanent collection, along with other Burchfield pieces), NYC. Exhibited, group retrospective show, “American Prints from the 1920’s & 1930’s: Selections from the Permanent Collection”, Lankes woodblock print was shown, “The Swing” (1927), Lankes and Burchfield collaboration woodcut pieces were shown, “Cain” (1926), “Whirling Wind” (1923) and “The Gossips” (1926), and a Lankes and Rockwell Kent (American, 1882-1971) collaboration woodblock piece was also shown, “Doremus Series (Foundry)” (1929), Marsh Art Gallery, University of Richmond Museums, Richmond, VA. Exhibited, retrospective show, “Robert Frost & J.J. Lankes: A Shared Vision of American”, drawn primarily from the extensive private collection of Pat Alger, woodcut prints were shown along with rare 1st editions of poetry by Frost each containing illustrations by Lankes, as well as a selection of supplemental materials including photographs, letters, handwritten versions of Frost’s poetry, original woodblocks, and the artist’s personal woodworking tools and his work for other authors was also explored through woodblock prints, both working proofs and final editions, and first edition books, Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville, TN.
2002- Exhibited, group show (retrospective) from all over the world, “Art and Ownership”, Auckland City Libraries, for a wood engraving (1922), Auckland, New Zealand.
2003- Exhibited, group show (retrospective), “Invisible Archives Vol. 4: 120 Years of Landscape”, selections from the collection of Gerald Mead (American, 20th Century-), Part 2, On the Barwalls, Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY.
2003-04- Exhibited, group show (retrospective), Washington County Museum of Fine Arts , American Prints from the Museum’s permanent collection, Lankes’ piece “Winter Twilight” was exhibited, Bowman Gallery, Hagerstown, MD.
2005- Exhibited, retrospective show featured the collaborative works of J.J. Lankes and Robert Frost, “In Equal Measure: The Frost-Lankes Connection”, Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, it featured the history of Frost’s 1935 Christmas poem, “Neither Out Far Nor In Deep,” which was illustrated with a woodcut by Lankes. Welford D. Taylor, the author of Robert Frost and J.J. Lankes: Riders on Pegasus
(1996) and a collector, provided many books, manuscripts, prints, paintings and tools of Frost and Lankes for the exhibition, Amherst, MA.
2006- Exhibited, group show (retrospective), “Think Ink: Prints from the Burchfield-Penney’s Collection”, Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY.
2007- Exhibited, solo retrospective show, “Artist at Work: The Art and Commerce of J.J. Lankes”, from the collection of the University of Richmond Museums' Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center (the collection holds approximately 500 prints, drawings, publications, woodblocks, and other items created by the artist as well as ephemera connected with his work, with the bulk of the collection given to the museum by J. B. Lankes, the artist's son), Featured in the exhibition were more than eighty works by Lankes and collaborations with other artists and writers, selections included Christmas cards, bookplates, articles, brochures, sketches, drawings, correspondence, manuals, and woodcuts, Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art University of Richmond Museums, Richmond, VA.
2009- Exhibited, group show (retrospective), “Western New York Impressions”, a selection of over 60 prints, woodcuts, etchings, engravings, silkscreens, lithographs, cyanotypes, digital prints and more by regional artists, from the private collection of Buffalo artist and art patron Gerald Mead, Niagara County Community College Art Gallery (NCCC Art Gallery), Sanborn, NY.
Exhibited also at:
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburg, PA; Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery), Buffalo, NY; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY; Richmond Academy of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; Salons of America, NYC; Boston, MA; New York City; Pittsburg, PA; Princeton, NJ; Minneapolis, MN.
Full Member of the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA), NYC; Full Member of the American Artists Professional League (AAPL), NYC; the Prairie Print Makers, Lindsborg, KS; Full Member of the California Society of Print Makers, San Francisco, CA; Full Member of the Print Society of England; Academician Member of the National Academy of Design (1954), NYC; Saturday Sketch Club, Buffalo, NY; American Artists Group, NYC; Wells College Print Club (honorary member), Wells College, Aurora, NY; Salons of America, NYC.
Prizes & Awards:
Received scholarships for printing and drawing, Art Students League of Buffalo (1908), Buffalo, NY; Won scholarship for Men’s Life Class, second place for Composition and third place for Sketch Class from Model, Albright Art School (1910), Buffalo, NY.
The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian American Art Museum (letters and prints), Washington, D.C.; Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NYC; Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA), NYC; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY; the Muscarelle Museum of Art, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; Marsh Museum at the University of Richmond, VA; Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX; Pennsylvania State Museum in Harrisburg (The Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Series), Harrisburg, PA; British Museum, London, England; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; The Whitney Museum of American Art (two sets of the Burchfield-Lankes wood engravings), NYC; Washington County Museum of Fine Arts (permanent collection), Hagerstown, MD; Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, “Haying”, eleven woodcuts, San Francisco, CA; The Cleveland Museum of Art, “In Virginia” (1930), Bookplate for William Sloane Kinney (1948) and “Old Kenyon Hall” (1963), Cleveland, OH; Carnegie Museum of Pittsburg, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburg, PA; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA; Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN; Michael C. Carlos Museum, Atlanta, GA; Middlebury College Museum of Art, Middlebury, VT; Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO; San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA.
Meibohm Fine Arts, East Aurora, NY; Guilford College Art Gallery, vitrines and atrium galleries, Greensboro, NC; Boston University Art Gallery, Boston, MA; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Carnegie Institute (Carnegie Museum of Pittsburg), Pittsburg, PA; Fisher Ames Baker Memorial Library, Dartmouth College (and letters written by Lankes), Hanover, NH; Virginia State Library, Richmond VA; Congressional Library, Washington, D.C.; New York Public Library, NYC; Newark Public Library, Newark, NJ; Plattsburgh State University of New York (Doremus Series, designed by Rockwell Kent and engraved by J.J. Lankes), Plattsburg, NY; Buffalo and Erie County Library (works and letters by Lankes), Buffalo, NY; Amherst College and town library (letters by Lankes), Amherst, MA; Middlebury College Museum of Art, (letters by Lankes), Middlebury, VT; Wisconsin State University, Library (letters by Lankes), Madison, WI; Bibliothéque nationale de France, Paris, France; Boston University Art Gallery, Boston, MA; Boston Public Library, Boston, MA; Guilford College Art Gallery, vitrines and atrium galleries, Greensboro, NC; the College of William and Mary (collection of prints, proof prints, woodcuts, one oil painting, sketches, notes, letters, and misc. donated by the son J.B. Lankes), Williamsburg, VA; California State Library, Sacramento, CA; The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Canadian bookplates collection, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; British Library, London, England; Georgetown University Art Collection, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO; Print Club of Albany, Fort Orange Station, Albany, NY.
Publications written by Lankes:
“1,000 Miles by Canoe”, Part I: Illustrated Buffalo Express
, pg. 12 (September 20, 1908), and Part II:, pg. 2 (September 27, 1908); “Saturday Sketch Club at Springbrook”, Buffalo Sunday News
, Art Section, Part I, pg. 1 (August 20, 1911); “A - Sketching at Springbrook”, Illustrated Buffalo Express
, pg. 12 (September 24, 1911); “Art in Buffalo as Seen by A Beginner”, Illustrated Buffalo Express
, pg. 15 (December 10, 1911); “Back to the Simple Life”, Illustrated Buffalo Express
, Pg. 10 (February 19, 1911); “An Old Art”, Illustrated Buffalo Express
, (possibly Lankes’s first public statement on the genre), pg. 2, (November 17, 1918); “The Woodcut”, Buffalo Saturday Night
, (Another early statement on the genre, April 2, 1921); “Four Book Plates”, by J.J. Lankes, The Journal of the American Institute of Architects
, Vol. 13, 9, pg. 340 (September, 1925); “On Designing A Bookplate”, The Bookdial
, Vol. 6, pg. 12, (Midsummer 1929); Virginia Woodcuts
, by J.J. Lankes with An introduction by Charles Harris Whitaker, a folio-sized, limited edition volume of 24 prints of rural Virginia scenes and decorations by Lankes, by his Hilton Village neighbor Eager Wood of the Virginia Press Inc., collaborator, signed and numbered, only 1200 copies made, 21 pgs., Newport News, VA (1930); From Realism to Romance Duck Shooting
, by (unknown date); “Afternoon and Evening [a story]”, American Mercury
, Volume XXI, Number 82, pgs. 238-43, (October, 1930); A Woodcut Manual
, J.J. Lankes author and illustrator, (Lankes’s definitive statement on the technique and significance of woodcutting, illustrated by several dozen of his designs), published by Henry Holt & Co., 122 pgs. (1932); “The Woodcut and Wood engraving”, Making Prints: Shop Talk On The Graphic Arts By J.J. Lankes, et al.
, C.A. Seward, Paul V. Ulen and Ernest W. Watson, Illustrated By Prize-Winning Prints From Scholastic Awards Competitions, edited By Ernest W. Watson, New York and Pittsburg, Scholastic Publications (Especially illuminating on the distinction between “woodcutting” and “engraving”), pgs. 34-41 (1936); His Booklet of Woodcut Bookplate Designs
(1940); “The Technique of Woodcutting and Wood engraving”, Print
, Vol. 1, (A detailed and Illustrated essay; includes material from A Woodcut Manual
), pgs. 66-76 (September, 1940); “Let Grant Wood Alone.”, Art Digest
, Vol. 17, pg. 4 (December 15, 1942); Woodcut Record
, (self published, 1943); A Brief History of Aeronautics as Pictured on the Murals in the Rotunda of the Administration Building, Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory
, Technical Illustration Section, NACA, Langley Aeronautical Laboratory, Langley Field, 14 pgs. (1946); “Pictures out of Wood”, Child Life
, Vol. 26, (Though written for children, it was sensitive and informative for the layman), pg. 25-27 (March, 1947); “The First Christmas Card”, Think
, 19, II, 20-21, 36, (November, 1953); “Marvin H. Neel of Ceres, Virginia, Backwoods Printer.”, American Artist
, (On Neel and the evolution of Weather Sayings
), Vol. 17, pgs. 56-9, 79-82 (June, 1953).
For additional information or images from this artist, please visit the AskArt link
(Rewritten & compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, meibohmfinearts.com, sources: Our internal records; With permission from AskArt.com, info and prior submissions; and others too long to list here and are furnished upon request)