John Taylor Arms


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Printmaker. Known especially for etchings of picturesque European sites, he was born in Washington, D.C., and studied at Princeton University for two years before transferring in 1907 to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1911 he received a BS in architecture and the following year, a master's degree. While working as an architect in New York, late in 1913 he began to learn etching. After a stint in the U.S. Navy from 1916 to 1919, he devoted full time to the medium. Although he remained almost entirely self-taught in printmaking, he developed a virtuoso etching technique, sometimes combined with aquatint. He also made a few lithographs. His early prints include American landscapes and cityscapes, but he made his reputation with renderings of historic European architecture, particularly Gothic ecclesiastical buildings. His scenes combine exacting detail and compositional breadth to convey personal affection for the enduring splendor of his subjects. Throughout most of his career, Arms maintained residences near North Pomfret, Vermont, and near Fairfield, Connecticut. He died in New York. He published a Handbook on Printmaking and Printmakers (1934) and collaborated with his wife, writer Dorothy Noyes Arms, on several travel volumes, including Churches of France (1929) and Hill Towns and Cities of Northern Italy (1933).

Subjects: Art.

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