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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Wounded Gull

Photo: Elizabeth Mann

Wounded Gull

1943, 1947

Albert Urban

American, born Germany, 1909-1959

Reva Urban

American, 1925-1987

Morris Graves

born Fox Valley, Oregon, 1910; died Loleta, California, 2001

In the 1940s and 1950s the New York art dealer Marian Willard published prints after paintings created by artists she represented. She considered her print publishing effort a noble enterprise, one designed to make works of art widely accessible and available to almost anyone. Wounded Gull, printed in December 1947, was one of at least two silkscreens Willard published after Morris Graves watercolors, the other being Time of Change. The war-themed Wounded Gull was one of Graves’ best works, and poignantly resonant in the immediate aftermath of WWII.
For this print, Willard enlisted Albert Urban and his wife, Reva Urban, master printers from the Museum of Modern Art, who were producing some of the first and finest color silk screen reproductions. Acclaimed for their fidelity to the original works, the Urbans’ silkscreens utilized as many as fifty-two colors. The print achieves amazing trompe l’oeil effects, from suggesting the physical dimension of impasto to simulating the wrinkles of thin tissue paper and the artist’s hand-written title and signature, which are in pencil on the original painting.

Silkscreen on medium weight cream wove paper
28 ½ x 37 ¼ in.
Gift of John and Diahann Braseth in honor of Marshall and Helen Hatch
Provenance: [Marian Willard, Willard Gallery, New York, publisher, 1947]; to her daughter, Miani Johnson, New York; to donor
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Woodside/Braseth Gallery, Master Works by the “Northwest Mystics,” May 10-June 7, 2012. Online illustrated checklist, no catalogue number.

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.