Crocker, Frederick S.
Trajes de Guatemala, Tomo 1 y Tomo 2.
Seller ID: 1344
Guatemala City: B. Zadick, c. 1960. Two portfolios, each comprising a suite of six full-colour lithographed water-colours (44cm x 34cm), twelve in all, signed on the plate, showing indigenous Guatemalans' traditional costumes typical of various regions of the country. Strikingly energetic depictions. This, the complete set of prints in the series, features costumes from Santiago Atitlan, Solola, San Martin Sacatepequez, San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Coban, and Todos Santos Cuchumantanes (Tomo 1); Santa Maria Chichimula, San Pedro Sacatepequez- San Marcos, San Juan Sacatepequez, Palin, Nebaj, and Chichicastenango (Tomo 2). Crocker ( 1914- 1972), a resident of Guatemala and an architect chiefly occupied with the restoration of Spanish colonial residences for well-to-do or well-connected ex-patriots, took great pains in the observation and recording of details of the various local clothing styles which he captured in a series of watercolours exhibited for the first time in the "Brooklyn Museum from 1943 to 1948 and in Memphis in 1948. These very successful exhibitions (at which none of the paintings were for sale) led to the lithographic reproduction in two portfolios of six designs each, with explanatory notes printed by Byron Zadik S.A. of Guatemala City. These sets have now become rarities to be sought after" (Long). As is evident from a glance at the wearers, Crocker was painting costumes and not people; the figures and their countenances are not 'Mayan' but generic representations, the more to focus the observer's eye on the finely painted particulars of the clothing (Crocker apparently used an unfriendly banker and some others he did not care for as models). These fine, colourful lithographs are accompanied by Crocker's own detailed and informative notes in Spanish and English. The brief biographical note accompanying the lithographs tells us that "Frederick Crocker, Jr. was born in the United States. He is a graduate of the Carnegie Institute of Technology... and practiced architecture in Manila, Philippine Islands. His interest in costumes began while he was travelling in Guatemala in 1940, at which time he turned his efforts toward recording what he could of the enormous mass of material available. These labors were interrupted for three years during World War II, in which he served as a Naval Officer in the Pacific. After the war he returned to Guatemala and continued his researches from his home in Panajachel, on Lake Atitlan. His original collection of costume drawings, from which the... series is adapted, [has] been exhibited in the United States at the Brooklyn Museum and at the Memphis Cotton Carnival, as well as in Guatemala. "For an informative and amusing sketch of Crocker's life and career, see J. Long's article, "Pat Crocker, Artist and Architect" in Revue- Guatemala's English-Language Magazine (1 March 2009) which tells all about the boy from West Virginia to whom his parents gave the middle name 'Siddhartha' and who would occasionally introduce himself as (of course) 'Frederick The-Enlightened-One Crocker'. Fine.
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