Cards of Yesteryear
Posted on December 21, 2020
Manuscript Collection 62, housed in a stack area in the Local History and Genealogy Department at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, was given as a gift to the Library in 1978. The donor was the Toledo Artists Club, an organization still active today, founded in 1943 by Maude Ide Crabbs, J. Arthur MacLean, and Davis W. Martin. A large portion of the collection are Christmas Cards, most created by members of the club between 1934–1968. Exhibitions of the collection date back to 1956 when the club still maintained it, and the Main Library has exhibited pieces of the work since its acquisition multiple times, most recently in 2004 and 2012.
ALFRED G. BRITSCH (1882-1972)
The following cards were created by Archbold, Ohio native Alfred G. Britsch, who resided in Toledo for over 50 years. A prominent landscape architect by profession, he worked as an architect and artist for the Toledo Lucas County Plan Commission before opening his own office in 1948. Some of his notable landscaping designs enhanced the grounds at the University of Toledo, the Toledo Zoo, as well as here at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library in downtown Toledo.
Alfred G. Britsch (1882-1972): Christmas Card, 1949
Printed ink on cardstock (exterior: 17.8 x 12.8 cm; opened: 17.8 x 25.5 cm)
Alfred G. Britsch (1882-1972): Christmas Card, circa 1950s
Printed ink and hand colored on cardstock (exterior: 17.8 x 12.5 cm; opened: 17.8 x 25 cm)
Alfred G. Britsch (1882-1972): Christmas Card, 1959
Printed ink and hand colored on cardstock (opened dimension: 10.5 x 27.4 cm)
CARL C. BRITSCH (1889-1974)
Carl C. Britsch (1889-1974) was a prominent architect and artist for over 50 years in the Toledo area. Born in Archbold, Ohio, he partnered with several Toledo firms that specialized in designs for schools, churches, hospitals and public buildings. He was a veteran of WWI in addition to leading in area art circles with numerous affiliations both local, statewide and national. He combined his name with his wife Leone in many of their thoughtful and beautiful Christmas cards.
Carl C. Britsch (1889-1974): Christmas Card, 1951
Printed ink and hand colored on cardstock (exterior: 11.5 x 14 cm)
Carl C. Britsch (1889-1974): Christmas Card, circa 1950s
Printed ink and hand-colored with photograph insert (exterior: 15.3 x 9.6 cm; opened: 15.3 x 19.2 cm; photograph: 13 x 8.5 cm)
MAUDE IDE CRABBS (1891-1993)
Maude Ide Streeter Crabbs (1891-1993) was a founding member of the Toledo Artists Club. She came to Toledo from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, as the Toledo Museum of Art’s first teacher of applied design in 1919. She was a leader in Toledo art circles for 30 years, both exhibiting her painting and craft work and taking an active part in nearly every opportunity to advance art in Toledo.
Maude Ide Crabbs (1891-1993): Christmas Card, 1947
Linocut on paper (exterior: 14 x 10 cm; opened: 14 x 20 cm)
Maude Ide Crabbs (1891-1993): Christmas Card, circa 1940s
Linocut on paper (exterior: 17 x 12 cm; opened: 17 x 24 cm)
J. ARTHUR MACLEAN (1880-1964)
J. Arthur MacLean (1880-1964) was a founding member of the Toledo Artists Club. He came to the Toledo Museum of Art in 1927 as the Asian art curator and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1945. He taught Asian art, language, and culture at several universities including the University of Toledo.
J. Arthur MacLean (1880-1964): Christmas Card, 1958
Lithograph on paper, 1958 (exterior: 17.8 x 12.6 cm; opened: 17.8 x 25.2 cm)
DAVIS W. MARTIN (1893-1978)
Davis W. Martin (1893-1978) was born in Jacksonville, Illinois and was educated at both Columbia and Yale Universities before coming to Toledo as a pastor. He had a passion for art and saw the need for the average person’s aesthetic stimulus, both visually and in its creation. He served in various Toledo artistic communities in governing capacities and in organizing classes and activities.
Davis W. Martin (1893-1978): Christmas Card, 1946
Linocut on paper (exterior: 12.8 x 9.5 cm; opened: 12.8 x 18.8 cm)
Davis W. Martin (1893-1978): Christmas Card, circa 1960s
Printed ink on cardstock (12.4 x 14.9 cm)