Elizabeth Aline Colborne (1885-1948)

Sunset Over the Bay, Bellingham, c. 1930

Cedar Swamp block print, ca 1920

Mt. Baker, WA, 1928, wood block print

Lake Whatcom, WA, 1929, block print

Untitled wood block print, 1925

In the Rainforests of Washington, ca 1933

Name, date unknown

Elizabeth Aline Colborne was an important Pacific Northwest artist known mainly for her contribution to the Arts and Crafts Movement of the region. In her time, she was also a successful children’s book illustrator. For most of her adult life she divided her time between New York, which served her professional career, and her Bellingham home. This comprehensive exhibit showcases the many facets of Colborne’s artistic endeavours, including original examples of her block prints and a selection of vintage illustrated children’s books.

During the 1920s and 30s, Colborne designed, carved and printed her own editions of colour woodcuts. Characterized by bold arrangements and colourful massed shapes, they often depicted regional landscapes. Her work of this period employed innovative techniques that were highly influenced by the aesthetics of Japanese Ukiyo-e prints.

Colborne studied at Pratt Institute in New York with the influential artist and art educator, Arthur Wesley Dow (1857-1922). Inspired by East Asian art as well as the British Arts and Crafts Movement, Dow published a book in 1899 that became the cornerstone of art education in America for half a century. He encouraged the creation of art using such compositional elements as line, mass, colour and a balance of light and dark forms, rather than representation. Colborne adapted his theories in her own prints, drawings, paintings and illustrations inspired by West Coast scenery.


See also
Evergreen Muse
The Art of Elizabeth Colborne
David F. Martin

$25.00 paperback (9780295991429)

Published: July 2011
Subject Listing: Modern Art
Bibliographic information: 96 pp., 140 illus., 130 in color, 8.5 x 11 in.
Territorial rights: World
Distributed for: Whatcom Museum


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