William S. Rice (American, 1873–1963), Yosemite, about 1925, color block print, 7 × 9 in. On Loan from the Sexauer Collection. © William S. Rice.
The Art and Craft of William S. Rice
Outside In is a visually rich and instructive display of the work of noted block printmaker William Rice (1873-1963). Arriving in California in 1900 to accept a teaching position, Rice explored the High Sierras, Yosemite, the desert Southwest, the Pacific coast and the forests of sequoias and redwoods—all exotic locales to a transplanted Pennsylvanian. These landscapes were reduced to their color components, carved into printing blocks, and reformed into precise, brilliant and translucent images. Rice began creating his color block prints in 1915 and exhibiting them nationally. But such a devoted Arts and Craftsman couldn’t confine himself to one media. Included among the exhibition’s 41 items are oils, watercolors, lithographs, metalwork and all the paraphernalia of block printmaking, which have been made available exclusively for this exhibition by the artist’s family.