Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas


  • Western Lithograph: Fine Art Printing
  • 29-Mar-2013 - 09-Mar-2014
  • Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas emerged as an American art center during the 1920’s as citizens organized to make visual art part of everyday life. Central to this effort was commercial printer Walter Vincent and artist C. A. Seward, who established one of America’s first fine arts presses at the Western Lithograph Company.

This unique program offered artists across the country the service of having their drawings printed in multiples by master lithographers. Until this time such a service was only available through a very few printing establishments located in the eastern United States. Western Lithograph’s “Fine Arts Printing Program” would go on to produce approximately 7,000 lithographs from some 150 editions printed between 1923 and 1937.

Much of the art produced at Western Lithograph was that of the Prairie Print Makers group which included celebrated regionalist artists such as Birger Sandzen, C.A. Seward, Lloyd Foltz, Clarence Hotvedt, Kenneth Adams and John Ward Lockwood.

The exhibit borrows from several local collections including The Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas and the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery, Lindsborg, Kansas. Guest Curator Barbara Thompson, who is C.A. Seward’s granddaughter, has coordinated a series of current exhibits in Wichita celebrating these fine art prints. The exhibits can be seen at the Wichita Art Museum, Wichita State University Clayton Staples Gallery, and the Wichita Center for the Arts.