"Abandoned Farm," Hans Alexander Mueller (1947)
Hans Alexander Mueller
Hans Alexander Mueller’s print Abandoned Farm takes us to an abandoned farm that stands precariously in a plot of grass, framed by a dilapidated white fence and a broken car tire. Overgrown trees and big rocks block the pathway suggesting that the place has been uninhabited and unattended. Mueller’s colorful woodcut print created in 1947, shows a neglected rural area, offering a commentary on the decline of the agricultural industry following the Great Depression. A painter, illustrator, and graphic designer, Hans Alexander Mueller was born in Nordhausen Germany in 1888. At the age of 37, he immigrated to the United States fleeing from Nazi Germany, settling in New York where he worked as a freelancer for various periodicals and magazines. In 1939 he published a book with detailed step-by-step descriptions of the woodcut printmaking process titled Woodcuts and Wood Engravings: How I Make Them, showcasing his unique technique, and illustrated with prints of his own creation. Mueller’s mastering of the woodcut printmaking technique can be observed in this print, for which he used multiple woodblocks to create layers of color and texture.