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John DePol: Artist and Engraver

John DePol has been an artist for more than seventy years. He is considered to be one of the great exemplars in the field of wood engraving, having produced thousands of images for commercial graphic design as well as for private presses and fine printers. His engravings belong with the best of the five hundred-year-old craft of wood engraving. His work shows both his technical facility and his artistic inspiration. His skill is apparent in both his commercial work and his artistic prints.
John DePol was born in 1913 in Greenwich Village in New York City. While working as a statistical clerk and securities runner on Wall Street, he attended night classes in lithography at the Art Students League. From 1943 to 1945 DePol served in the United States Army Air Force, and while on duty in Northern Ireland he continued his lithography studies at the College of Art in Belfast. During this time, DePol also sketched the sights and scenes of Ireland, images that would later form the basis for many prints and book illustrations.

After being discharged from the service, DePol worked as a production assistant for the L.F. White Company, a commercial printing firm. He continued to do work for a number of commercial publishing companies as well as independent commissions illustrating private-press booklets, separate prints, broadsides, and limited edition books. He developed professional and personal relationships with many publishers including John Anderson, Arthur Rushmore, and John Fass.

After his retirement in 1978, DePol remained active illustrating private press books, producing individual prints, and teaching wood engraving. He has received many honors for his work including election as a National Academician by the National Academy of Design and Laureate, New York Printers Wall of Fame.

Introduction | Ireland | New York | Keepsakes | Private Press
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Last modified: 12/21/10

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