River Series No 10 (1966)

River Series No 4 (1966)



american printmaker

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    John H. Page was an American printmaker, painter, and professor of art who taught for thirty-three years at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. He grew up in Michigan (Ann Arbor, Detroit and Muskegon), where his father was an architect.

After high school, he attended the Minneapolis School of Art as a Pillsbury Scholar during 1940-42, and the Art Student’s League in New York. Drafted into the Army in 1943, he returned to school when WWII ended two years later. He married Mary Lou Franks in 1945. He earned a BFA in design at the University of Michigan in 1948, and an MFA in printmaking at the University of Iowa in 1950.

His first teaching positions were at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas NM, and Mankato State College in Minnesota. In 1954, he joined the faculty at the Iowa State Teachers College (now University of Northern Iowa), where he taught for more than three decades (with the exception of a single year, when he served as Department Head at the University of Omaha in Nebraska). He retired from teaching at UNI in 1988.

River Series No 14 (1966)

Reclining Figure (1980)

The area along the Cedar River had always had the most interest to me when I wanted to do some outdoor sketching. The dam, the channel of the cut-off, with its locks, the brick broom factory, the railroad bridge beside it, these had often appeared in my work before…I decided to do more etchings [along the river] to satisfy myself that there were lots of good themes to be had down there.

                                —John Page (1991)

                                          After Images: An Art Biography 


Hen House (1976)

Escape (1969)

Golden Rectangle IV (1971) 

For many people, John Page is especially known for his nuanced depictions of landscape and still-life views. Particularly admired are his small prints called the River Series (as shown in left column), in which he celebrates the richness of everyday settings along the Cedar River, which runs through downtown Cedar Falls.

But in truth, a wider survey of his work confirms that, over a lifetime, he was highly experimental, and eager to explore a wide range of styles, from on-site drawing and painting to expressionism to geometric abstraction, including works entirely based on the golden section.

Collection (1977)

Self Portrait (1969)

In 1992, three Iowa art museums, the Gallery of Art at the University of Northern Iowa, the James and Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts (Cedar Falls), and the Waterloo Museum of Art (Waterloo), mounted a three-part retrospective exhibition of Page’s artworks. 

That major exhibition was accompanied by a full-color catalog, titled John Page: A Retrospective Exhibition in Three Parts (University of Northern Iowa, 1992). He also wrote a memoir titled After Images: An Art Biography (self-published, 1991).

Omaha (1969) triptych

River Series No 9 (1966)

Sign (1969)

A substantial number of artworks by John Page are in the collections of the Hearst Center for the Arts, the UNI Gallery of Art, the Cedar Falls Historical Society, the Waterloo Center for the Arts, the Fine Arts Collection at Luther College, He is also represented in collections at Augustana College, Carnegie Institute, Concordia Teachers College, Des Moines Art Center, Drake University, Eastern Illinois University, Graceland College, Hackley Museum of Art, Hastings College, Illinois Wesleyan University, Joslyn Museum of Art, Laura Musser Museum, Library of Congress, MacNider Museum of Art, Nelson Swope Art Gallery, St Olaf College, Seattle Art Museum, Sioux City Art Center, Tulsa City-County Library, University of Minnesota, University of Southern Idaho, and Walker Art Center.

My Wife (1950)

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