Artist Maurice Robert Bebb (American, 1891-1986), renowned for the prints of American birds he produced over five decades, didn't turn to printmaking until later in life. Looking back, he mused, "I wanted to draw and paint for years and years before I had the nerve to dirty a piece of paper." Largely self-taught, Bebb established a national reputation as an exceptional etcher. He created more than two hundred print designs in his lifetime—about half were of midwestern birds—and produced gift prints for the Chicago Society of Etchers, the Prairie Print Makers, and the Print Makers of California.
In Birds & Beyond: The Prints of Maurice R. Bebb, former Bebb student Jim Harbison writes a warm-hearted, personal account of making prints in the artist's home studio and explains the printmaker's meticulous process. Cori Sherman North, curator to the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery, details a history of printmaking in the United States before 1950, setting the stage for Bebb's work. And John R. Mallery, a longtime collector of Bebb's prints, provides a brief biography of the artist.