[Eighteen Stencils with Two Signed Drawings attributed to Edna M. Walker, Byrdcliffe Colony Artisan.]
After both women painters graduated from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, Zulma Steele and Edna M. Walker removed in 1903 to Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead’s Byrdcliffe Colony in Woodstock, New York, in the Hudson Valley.
Romantically involved, inseparable, and known as “Steelie and Walker” both women were gifted. The pair eventually became responsible for designing most of the decorations found on Byrdcliffe’s Arts and Crafts furniture.
With this lovely and intricate design group, Walker’s drawings and stencils incorporate natural and geometric designs such as a fleur-de-lis, thistle, marine fauna, and pine boughs with cones.¹
Walker’s work can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Winterthur Museum, The Hudson Valley Visual Art Collections Consortium’s digitization project, and elsewhere.
Description: [Eighteen Stencils with Two Signed Drawings attributed to Edna M. Walker, Byrdcliffe Colony Artisan.]
[Byrdcliffe, Woodstock, New York, 1905]. Twenty Items: Two Drawings signed, “E. M. W., 1905” and “Edna M. Walker, ‘05”. Measure: 14¼ x 10¼ inches, and 14¾ x 12¼ inches. Graphite on ivory wove paper [AND:] Eighteen Stencils, two signed “Walker ’05.” Measurements range from 4 x 13 inches to 6 x 8 inches to 12½ x 16½ inches. Coated paper with cut-out designs, with evidence of inking on versos. All items housed in mylar sleeves: the drawings have acid-free cardstock backings; the stencils have acid-free Mohawk Superfine paper backings. All in very good to near fine condition.
Note. 1. Stylistically, we believe some of the present stencils were executed by other Byrdcliffe artisans who were contemporary to Walker. Ref. See “Zulma Steele: Gender blender extraordinaire” [and:] “Made by Byrdcliffe Arts and Crafts Colony / Linen press / ca. 1904” accessed online.