A look at the Barry Moser’s woodcut, ‘Moraine, Albany, 1975’

By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator

We hope that you enjoy this woodcut in our collection. If you visit the museum, this print is on view outside of the Groh Gallery.

Barry Moser (American, b. 1940)
Moraine, Albany, 1975
Woodcut on paper
13″ H x 10″ W
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Phillip Buttermore, A4429,09.0306 

Renowned for his wood engravings and illustrations for numerous works of adult and children’s literature, Barry Moser also produces woodcuts like this example. In Moraine, Albany, Moser takes us deep into the woods and represents a small moraine (rocks and sediment carried down and deposited by a glacier), along with branches and plants that cling to a hillside. During the 1970s, Moser became intrigued by the interwoven patterns found on forest floors and geological formations. While most of the composition emphasizes areas of dark shading, part of the sky is visible in the background and daylight illuminates the scene, creating beautiful contrasts and textures.

Moser was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and attended Auburn University, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Massachusetts, where he studied under the renowned American sculptor and printmaker, Leonard Baskin (1922‒2000). He is a member of the faculty at both the Rhode Island School of Design and Smith College. Moser has illustrated over three hundred books, including such classics as Moby DickThe Divine Comedy, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (winner of the National Book Award for design and illustration in 1983).

If you come to the museum, please visit our special exhibition, Childhood Favorites: 100 Years of Children’s Book Illustration (on view through March 17), to learn more about Moser and see one of his watercolors for Jump on Over! The Adventures of Brer Rabbit and his Family, authored by Van Dyke Parks (b. 1943) and Malcolm Jones (b. 1952).