Winter Sunrise is an etching, drypoint and aquatint created in 1977 by American artist Gene Kloss. The reference is Sanchez 576 and an impression is illustrated on page 159 in volume II of Gene Kloss An American printmaker: A Raisonné. Winter Sunrise is pencil signed, titled and editioned 30/35 and is further inscribed NA (National Academy) after the artist’s signature. It was printed by the artist on ivory wove Rives BFK paper and the platemark measures 13-7/8 x 11 inches.
The landscape of Winter Sunrise speaks more to Colorado than New Mexico. It is entirely possible that Kloss returned to her sketches of Colorado created between 1965 and 1970. Winter Sunrise is beautifully rendered; drypoint and aquatint combine to create the atmospheric shroud of early morning as the sun rises to warm and perhaps thaw the snowed-in cabin. Winter Sunrise displays Kloss’ mastery of technique and composition.
Gene Kloss, painter and printmaker, was born Alice Geneva Glasier on 27 July 1903 in Oakland, California. She graduated with honors from the University of California Berkeley in 1924. During her last semester in UC Berkeley, Kloss participated in seminar given by Perham Nahl and with his encouragement she made her first etching. She further her studies for another two years attending classes at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco and the California School of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California.
In 1925, she wed the poet Phillips Kloss and they visited Taos, New Mexico for the first time. Also, this year, she stopped using her first name, shortened her middle name to Gene, and used her husband’s surname. In de-feminizing her name, Gene Kloss’ work was selected for exhibitions without the prejudicial, sexist discrimination encountered by women in all fields.
Gene and Phillips divided their year between Berkeley, California and Taos, New Mexico until they settled permanently in Taos in 1953. During the Depression Kloss made prints for the PWAP and WPA/FAP in New Mexico but during the World War II the Klosses spent most of their time in Berkeley, where Phillips worked in a shipyard. After the war, they began building their home near Taos. In 1965 their dog was shot to death, so the couple moved near Delta in southwest Colorado. After five years in Colorado, the Klosses returned to New Mexico and built a second home northeast of Taos.
Kloss was a member of and exhibited with the Society of American Etchers, the Chicago Society of Etchers, the California Society of Etchers, the Carmel Art Association, the Prairie Print Makers, the New Mexico Art League, and the Philadelphia Watercolor Club. In 1950, Gene was elected an Associate Member of the National Academy of Design and, in 1972, she was elevated to a National Academician.
Kloss received numerous honors for her prints and repositories of her work include the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; the Denver Art Museum, Colorado; the Oakland Museum of California; the New York Public Library and the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the San Francisco Museums of Fine Arts, California; the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe; and the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Gene Kloss died in Taos, New Mexico on 24 June