The Writing Desk


Childe Hassam (1859-1935), The Writing Desk, 1915, etching, signed in pencil with the monogram and annotated “imp” (indicating that Hassam pulled this impression himself) [also initialed, dated and the words “Cos Cob” in the plate upper right].  Reference: Cortissoz and Clayton 56, only state, edition size not specified. In very good condition, on an ivory wove paper, the full sheet with deckle edges (the usual drying holes at the edges all around with associated small tears and losses), 10 x 7, the sheet 12 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches, archival mounting (acid free window mat with mylar unattached mounting corners).

Ex. collection: Sylvan Cole, New York. Cole was the director of Associated American Artists, and founder of the IFPDA (International Fine Print Dealers Association).

A fine, light filled delicately printed impression.

This is a portrait of Mrs. Hassam at Holley House, Cos Cob Connecticut.

Hassam worked as a wood engraver early in his career, before his critical second trip to Europe in 1885. But it was well after establishing himself as America’s pre-eminent Impressionist painter that he turned to etching, in 1915 at the age of 56. This was the year he created The Writing Desk.

This impression of The Writing Desk has a light airy quality. The movement provided by the flowery surroundings and fine strokes of etching provides a fascinating counterpoint to Mrs. Hassam’s thoughtfull, contemplative mood.