John De Martelly

John De Martelly

De Martelly was born in Philadelphia and attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, as well as Florence, Italy and the Royal College of Art in London. During the 1930s and 1940s he taught printmaking to students studying painting with Thomas Hart Benton at Kansas City Art Institute*.

Early Life and Education

Early childhood education provides children with the foundations of skills for later success. This includes social-emotional abilities, language acquisition and literacy, as well as critical thinking.

During this critical period, children are exposed to positive experiences that help them develop cognitive and emotional skills necessary for success. These include nurturing relationships with parents and other adults as well as secure, encouraging environments.

The significance of early childhood experiences has been underscored in numerous academic studies. UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goals 3 and 4, emphasize the importance of increasing access to quality early childhood education, care, and development so that all children can reach their full potential.

Professional Career

John de Martelly made a career as an accomplished printmaker, etcher, painter and teacher. His works can be found in collections around the world such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Victoria & Albert Museum in London; Cleveland Museum of Art. A self-taught polymath with an eye for design and an appetite for high quality prints at reasonable prices, de Martelly achieved great success during these turbulent decades.

He made many notable contributions, such as creating the first commercially produced lithograph in America and inventing photochemical etching – which made it possible. Furthermore, he was the first American to produce a full length lithographic chromoprint (aka photoetching), an incredible technological advance itself. Additionally, he lived to be 99 years old, remaining an active American etching practitioner well into his 80s.

Personal Life

John de Martelly (1903-1979) was an acclaimed lithographer, etcher, painter and illustrator from Philadelphia. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Florence, Italy; and London’s Royal College of Art. During the 1930s and 1940s he taught printmaking at Kansas City Art Institute to students who had trained under Thomas Hart Benton – a close friend of de Martelly’s.

His lithographs, sold through the Associated American Artists Galleries in New York during the 1930s and 1940s, captured the essence of rural American landscape. By the late 1940s, de Martelly abandoned Regionalism for Abstract Expressionism and studied closely with Honore Daumier. Today his drawings, paintings, prints are housed in many museums around the world such as Victoria & Albert Museum in London; Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.; Kresge Art Museum East Lansing; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Nelson-Atkins Museum Kansas City; Whitney Museum of American Art.

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