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John Edgar Platt [1886-1967]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa.]

PLATT, John Edgar [1886-1967]

“The Giant Stride”


color woodcut in eight colors / 6 5/8 inches by 16 3/16 inches / xxi from an edition of 150

Perhaps Platt’s most iconic print, “The Giant Stride” is among the earliest additions to the collection’s foundation established in 1915. It and two other Platt works — “Building the Trawler” and “Pilchard Fishing, Cornwall” — comprise three of our finest works by one of its best known artists.

Joel Janowitz [born 1945]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa.]

JANOWITZ, Joel [born 1945]


monoprint on paper / 29 1/2 inches by 41 1/4 inches (plate)


Joel Janowitz was born in 1945 in New Jersey, and lives and works in Boston, MA. Janowitz’s work has been exhibited in 1973 Whitney Biennial, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Osaka Foundation of Culture in Japan, the Drawing Center (NYC) and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. His paintings, prints, and drawings can be found in the collections of major museums, colleges, and corporations in the US.

Janowitz can also be found in the collection of Agincourt’s restaurant The Periodic Table. It was purchased during a buying trip to the East by restauranteur Rosemary Plička and is on loan to the Community Collection.

M. Cooper-Brown [active 1900-1925]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

COOPER-BROWN, M. [active 1900-1925]

Return of the Fishing Boats


color woodcut / 6 5/8 inches by 6 3/8 inches (image) / no edition

M. Cooper Brown is listed in three annual exhibition catalogues of the Royal Academy of Arts (1904, 1905, and 1907), each entry bearing an atmospheric title: “Sunset”, “Evening, “Sunrise”; each of them a watercolor, though none were illustrated. The artist’s address is given as 98, South Hill Park, Hampstead. Beyond those few facts, we know nothing else.

Karl Julius Yens [1868-1945]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

YENS, Karl Julius [1868-1945]


cliché-verre with hand coloring / 7 7/8 inches by 9 7/8 inches


Born in Altona, Germany on Jan. 11, 1868, Karl Julius Yens (originally “Jens”) studied with Max Koch in Berlin and with Benjamin Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens in Paris. He was active as a muralist in Germany and Edinburgh, Scotland before coming to the U.S. in 1901.  During the first decade in his adopted country he fulfilled mural commissions in NYC and Washington, DC.

After settling in southern California in 1910, he was active in Los Angeles and Pasadena before moving to Laguna Beach in 1918. His studio still stands there on South Coast Highway near Ruby Street. Yens exhibited and won a medal in the 1915 Pan-Pacific Exposition in San Diego, CA. He continued to show widely in Southern California: at the California Art Club in 1919, the Laguna Beach Art Association throughout the 1920s, and again in 1935, at the Los Angeles Painters and Sculptors Club in 1922 and 1928, as well as through many other venues.

As an illustrator, engraver, fresco, portrait and still life painter, Karl Yens became a member of the American Federation of the Arts and made a notable contribution to Southern California’s art community.

In the late 1910s and early ’20s Yens did a number of experiments with the technique of cliché-verre, a method that utilized a glass plate, photo sensitized paper and the sun to create a photographic image on the paper which he then hand colored. The technique had been developed in France in the 19th century and was used by a number of the Barbizon painters/printmakers.

Phyllis Brodsky [20th century]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

BRODSKY, Phyllis [20th century; American]

Room with a View

oil on canvas / 26 7/8 inches by 21 3/4 inches

We have been unable to learn very much about 20th century artist-teacher Phyllis Brodsky. And so must let the work speak for itself.

Stephen Brook [born 1957]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

BROOK, Stephen [born 1957; British]

“The Execution of Lady Jane Grey”

oil on board / 6 inches by 6 inches


British artist Stephen Brook is the most recent artist to join the Community Collection with a small but powerful glimpse of the art experience: viewers in London’s National Gallery admiring Paul Delaroche’s 1833 painting “The Execution of Lady Jane Grey”— a framed view of a framed view. And as viewers of Brook’s painting, we add one more layer to the telescoping experience.

This work was an anonymous gift to commemorate the student-faculty exchange program between Northwest Iowa Normal School and Millstone-Jennings College, Greenbridge, Essex, UK.

Pictor Ignotus [ca1920]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

MIN<unreadable> [ca1920]

“Magere Brug” / Skinny Bridge

oil on wood panel / 8.75 inches by 12.75 inches


A bridge has been at that site in Amsterdam since 1691, though the current iteration was built almost two hundred years later. It may be one of the most photographed of the city’s five hundred spans in the center city alone. This late impressionist sketch was painted about 1920 by an artist whose signature cannot yet be read.

magere brug 02.jpg

The painting is on loan to the Collection from the van der Rijn family, owners of the Bijenkorf Department Store.


Tanaka Ryohei / 田中良平 [born 1933]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

TANAKA Ryohei / 田中良平 [born 1933; Japanese]

etching /

During the 1960s, the Ferdinand Roten Galleries of Baltimore, Maryland promoted the more affordable collecting of prints on paper — etching, engraving, lithograph, silkscreen, and other media — particularly by college students across the United States. Before Roten died in 1972, his vans criss-crossed North America, stuffed with artwork, much of it comissioned by Roten himself and offered in low-priced editions to college students. Tanaka was then in his thirties and a staple in the Roten catalogue.  Other works in the collection (by Robert Marx and Walter Cleveland) were acquired this way.

Tanaka’s prints represent the traditional arts and crafts of Japan, especially the vernacular architecture one find in rural villages and the countryside.

Willis Fahnstock [1862-1928]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

FAHNSTOCK, Willis Chalmers [18621928]

Western Landscape


watercolor on paper / 6.5 inches by 10.5 inches

Elias Fahnstock and his son Dr Rudyard Fahnstock are the better known members of that early Fennimore county family. Less familiar is the younger brother Willis, who spent little time in the community. Willis studied briefly at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and then settled at the old homestead outside New Castle, Delaware. This painting of about 1920 dates from a rare trip to Iowa – and beyond, apparently – late in Willis’s life.

It was a gift from Dr Rudyard Fahnstock, MD.

Fred S. Haines [1879-1960]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

HAINES, Frederick Stanley [1879–1960]

“The Golden Hour”


etching and aquatint / 9 inches by 12 inches

Frederick Stanley Haines, or more commonly Fred S. Haines, was a Canadian artist who produced both prints and paintings, primarily landscapes. Sadly “The Golden Hour” was damaged some time during its life, trimmed, apparently, to fit an existing frame; too much attention is taken by the tree trunk while the overstory is lost. Yet, the composition is classic, practically a “golden section”, with subtleties of color enhanced on closer inspection by intricate line patters akin to the fingerprint. For reasons of its color palette, we date it closer to 1930.

Here is another example of Haines’ skill as a painter (not in our collection):

fred s haines.jpg