William Seltzer Rice (1873–1963) created humble yet stunning images. An artist, naturalist, and teacher, Rice moved from his native Pennsylvania to Northern California in 1900, when the region’s Arts & Crafts movement was flowering. A prolific watercolorist, Rice taught at various schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland—a center for Arts & Crafts.
Deeply moved by the beauty of Japanese prints displayed at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, Rice embraced block printing, a medium that was well suited to the Arts & Crafts ethos of making artwork available to a wide audience at modest cost. Unlike the Japanese printmakers, however, Rice designed, carved, and printed the blocks himself.
Northern California’s dramatic and diverse landscapes provided excellent raw material for Rice’s creativity, as evidenced by the four winter scenes in this holiday card assortment.
Contains five each of the following holiday cards:
Big Trees in Snow, c. 1924
Cedar in Snow, c. 1925
End of the Open Road—Sierras, c. 1927
Sierra Snowbank, c. 1930