Charles Turzak - woodcuts, paintings, limited edition prints and watercolors.
Charles Turzak Biography
The 1930's part 1

Charles Turzak
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  Charles Turzak - Printmaker, Painter, Illustrator, Watercolorist, Cartoonist, Designer,
Author, Lecturer, Teacher.

In spite of his disastrous financial state, he convinced his beloved Florence Cockerham, a journalism student at Northwestern University , to become his wife. They married in May of 1931. Returning from their honeymoon in Hot Springs, Arkansas, several more watercolors were added to the growing list: Main Street, Skyscraper, and Springtime, along with View from the Hill and A Magnolia for My Wife which he later combined in an oil painting, titled, Still life and Landscape. (See Stedman Fine Arts Auction, Fall, 1996) For the Holiday Season, of '31, he produced the black and white print Adoration. It was their first Christmas Greeting together. Charles and Henry Chapman teamed up to illustrate and cartoon a colorful MAP OF CHICAGO…The City Of Big Shoulders. The map featured the location of the forthcoming Chicago World's Fair.N

Main Street
View From Hill

Struggling through the early years of the depression, he eagerly continued to accept jobs illustrating books with his woodcuts. John and Ruth Ashenhurst's book, ALL ABOUT CHICAGO included his images of Chicago River, Methodist Temple, Michigan Avenue Bridge and Palmolive Building. N

Michigan Av. Bridge
Palmolive Bldg.

Long an admirer of historical figures, he started on his first biographical volume, ABRAHAM LINCOLN/Biography In Woodcuts, a pictorial statement only. He cut the 36 blocks to illustrate his book in public view at the 1933 Century of Progress, Chicago World's Fair in the Lincoln Village. Florence too worked at the Fair, tending their sidewalk exhibit on Michigan Avenue displaying and selling his artwork. Occasionally he would make time to do watercolors of the Fair: The Entrance, Traffic, The Paris, Man, and a painting of Buckingham Fountain. The Lincoln book was printed later in the year. It was an edition of 1,500 copies, all personally signed and numbered, privately published and marketed. Four single Lincoln prints followed: Birth Cabin, Lincoln Portrait, Prairie President, and Student Days.

B. Fountain

Lincoln Book
Birth Cabin
Lincoln Portrait
Prairie President
Student Days

Almost immediately he started preparing another biography, interrupting his preliminary drawings only long enough to create the multi-color print Nativity, his Holiday Greeting for 1933. But, further interruption intervened. He was commissioned by the Artists' Equity to make a special souvenir woodcut for their Gala Ball at the Sherman Hotel, Chicago, in February of '34. This print would be presented to honored guests invited to the event. Adam and Eve was produced for this Valentine's celebration, a limited edition in black and white. Continuing the work on his second biography, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, he illustrated it with 80 woodcuts. It was published by Pascal Covici of Covici Friede, New York, in 1935. This volume included a text by Florence.

Adam & Eve
Ben Franklin Bio

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