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Eugene Larkin (1921-2010)
The late Eugene Larkin was an artist who worked in the Twin Cities area for many years and needs little introduction. His works have been shown, collected and appreciated by numerous galleries, museums and collectors throughout the United States.
Larkin was influential both as an artist and as a teacher. He taught at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design between 1954 and 1969, where he was head of printmaking and Chairman of the Division of Fine Arts. From 1969-1991 he was a professor in the Design Department at the University of Minnesota.
Eugene Larkin, a lithographer, teacher and artist who left behind scores of works, some of them in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress and the Museum of Modern Art. He was considered an early promoter of lithography education, Larkin introduced it into arts programs while teaching at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the University of Minnesota. He held a prominent place in the art world through decades of working and teaching in Minneapolis. His work depicted a wide range of subjects, from musicians to nature, including a series of woodcuts based on William Blake's "Songs of Innocence and Experience."
Larkin also wrote a textbook, "Design: The Search for Unity." It was his work with lithography, an 18th-century printmaking process, for which he was best known.
His last local exhibit was a retrospective at The University of Minnesota Weisman Museum in 2005. "Sometimes I start the artistic process from a literary source - Adam and Eve, the Egyptian nature gods, or classical Greek themes but sometimes I start from nature. Trees have always been a favorite subject. I see trees as people, as vertical objects. When I was a child I used to think trees made the wind. I watched the trees blowing and bending and saw that they had personalities that I could equate with human personality. I have always been in love with wood and the things I could do with it, discovering in lumber marvelous textures and patterns of growth and being able to transform this into something else."