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1971 Woodcut



From The Dauer Collection

Woodcut on Paper
14"x15" framed, 6.5"x7" unframed 
Edition of 100

Entitled Hope, this 1971 woodcut on paper figure scene is signed and titled in the lower right by the artist Joseph Paul Di Gemma. Excellent vintage condition. Framed in a contemporary wood frame with grooved details and distressed beige finish using archival matting behind conservation clear glass.

About the Artist

Joseph Paul Di Gemma (1910-2005) was born in New York City and studied at Pratt Institute and the Art Students League. He was also an instructor at the Art League of Long Island. The author of "Lumiprinting : a New Graphic Art", Di Gemma has numerous engravings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Astor-Lenox Collection, and the Smithsonian Institute. During World War II, he served with the U.S. Coast Guard as a combat artist. Aboard a Coast Guard Transport he went to China, India, Burma, Australia and Ceylon. He received a B.S. in Art Education from New York University, an M.S. from Queens College, and taught in the High School of Art and Design, part of the New York City school system.

About the Collector

John A. Dauer (1933-2017) was a collector of many things, the vast majority of which convey stories of hard work, craftsmanship, industry, unsung histories, and associations with those he loved and respected. 

Born and raised on Staten Island, New York in 1933, John grew up among a close-knit family of entrepreneurial bakers, wood carvers, and leather merchants. He graduated in 1954 from Columbia College with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology.  He went on to work with his father John Sr., at the New York City-based John A. Dauer Leather Company.

During and after his undergraduate studies, John enrolled in painting, print making, and sculpture classes at Columbia, the New School for Social Research, and Greenwich House. Many of his teachers (including Margot Kempe and Peppino Mangravite) were recent European emigres and WPA artists, sympathetic to the themes of social realism and late modernism.

Although he made his living and supported his family as a leather salesman, John consistently maintained an interest in, and passion for, the creative work of artists and craft people throughout his life. The subjects and scale of his collecting varied over the years (from large 18th century cupboards to hand carved fishing lures), but let’s just say his houses and barns often resembled mini-Mercer Museums.

During his last 2 decades, John focused his collecting efforts on the work of print makers and painters who reminded him or were directly associated with those who influenced him during his New York youth. Images and the stories of sailors, stevedores, factory workers, craftsmen, pushcart vendors, musicians, stoop sitters, and artists abound.