Through Dec. 17: Library announces John DePol exhibition


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8:26 a.m., Nov. 23, 2010----The University of Delaware Library Special Collections announces the installation of an exhibition entitled “John DePol: Committed Craftsman” curated by Deborah C. Andrews, professor of English at the University of Delaware, and her students in Material Culture Studies 402.

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The late John DePol (1913-2004) was one of the premier wood engravers and illustrators of the 20th century. His papers are in Special Collections in the University of Delaware Library.

Using material relating to DePol from several collections within holdings of Special Collections, including the John Anderson papers, the Yellow Barn Press records, and the John DePol papers, the exhibition examines the artistic process of the craft of wood engraving through the objects used and created by the artist himself.

DePol taught himself wood engraving after experimenting with etching and metal plate engraving. His career is marked by professional and personal collaborations with both private presses and major institutions, creating illustrations for everything from literary works to keepsakes.

In the course of the semester, the class has examined the “materiality of objects in order to elucidate information” about their uses and roles in a given culture.

For the exhibition, each student chose an object relating to DePol's artistic process from conceptualization to product. Featured in the exhibition are DePol's own burins (a tool used in wood engraving), woodblocks engraved by DePol for various publications, photographs used to inform his artistic vision, a sketchbook used to plan the layout of his woodblocks and a zinc etched plate of a London scene made by DePol shortly after his service in World War II.

The exhibition will be available for viewing in the Special Collections reading room, located on the second floor of the Morris Library, through Friday, Dec. 17.