John de Martelly (American, 1903-1979)
Reminiscent of the famous regionalist work of Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975) de Martelly equally captures the regionalist viewpoint in 1930s and 40’s rural America. Having studied art first in Philadelphia and later in London at the Royal College of Art, de Martelly’s experience and skill led him to a teaching role as a professor of printmaking at the Kansas City Art Institute. Coincidentally, Benton was also working at the art institute at this time as a painting professor. It was through this connection with his fellow Art Institute instructor that de Martelly produced a variety of stone lithographs with the Associated American Artists (AAA), as many of the leading regionalists were doing during the same period.
After his tenure in Kansas City, de Martelly moved onto Michigan where he continued teaching at the State University in East Lansing and eventually shifted from his earlier, realist style to a more Abstract Expressionist style.
De Martelly’s prints, including a number of prints from the editions you see in the gallery, are held in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Art.