The etcher John Taylor Arms (18871953) is ranked among the most renowned printmakers in early 20th-century America. The Chrysler Museum of Art
presents his work in a free exhibition, An Eye for Architecture: The Etchings of John Taylor Arms, which are on view in the Kaufman Theatre Lobby.
The 23 works on display were selected from the Chryslers extensive collection of Arms etchings and memorabilia. Donated in the mid-1950s by the artists widow, Dorothy Noyes Arms, the collection includes more than 300 prints, a group of etching tools and steel and copper plates, and one of John and Dorothys collaborative publications, The Cathedrals of France.
Active on both sides of the Atlantic, Arms achieved fame both for his prints of the great cathedrals and picturesque buildings of Europehe believed that Gothic architecture was mankinds loftiest achievementand his equally evocative renderings of modern-day Manhattan.
Trained as an architect, Arms began his career as an architectural draftsman and then turned to printmaking at the close of World War I. He brought to his prints an architects eye for richly rendered detail and a genius for conveying the grandeur and drama of a sun-struck stone façade. A technical virtuoso, he sometimes worked his plates with sewing needles to achieve the finest of lines, and he typically used a magnifying glass to capture the subtlest shifts in tone.