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Lankes, Julius J. (1884-1960) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: Lankes, Julius J. (1884-1960)

Historical Note: Julius John Lankes, illustrator, woodcut artist, author and college professor, was born in Buffalo, New York on August 31, 1884. Of German ancestry, Lankes graduated in 1902 from the Buffalo Commercial and Electro-Mechanical Institute and studied at the Art Students’ League of Buffalo and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. His preferred artistic medium was the woodcut and his work helped raise the woodcut from simple to commercial work to it being viewed as fine art. His work shows the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement. His woodcuts illustrated works by Beatrix Potter, Robert Frost and Sherwood Anderson, maintaining life-long friendships with the latter two. Lankes' first woodcut was titled "Flying Gosling" and was created in 1917. His early illustrations appeared in The Liberator, a 1920s socialist magazine. With leftist leanings it is not surprising that Lankes' art expressed a respect for the working class. In 1932 Lankes' A Woodcut Manual was published (Henry Holt). The volume was edited and republished 2006 with other writings from Lankes. Eventually Lankes took a teaching position at Wells College in New York, where he taught for several years. During much of the 1940s Lankes worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics as an illustrator. He died on April 22, 1960 from the effects of a stroke. He was buried in his childhood home town, Buffalo.
Sources: wikipedia.org
Note Author: David Malone

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