John Taylor Arms, date unknown, Family Photos and Miscellaneous Photo Album, John Taylor Arms Manuscripts, Cleveland Museum of Art Archives.

John Taylor Arms
Birth Date: April 19, 1887
Death Date: October 13, 1953
Artist Gallery
Born in Washington D.C. in 1887, John Taylor Arms grew to be viewed during the early to mid-20th century as the “Renaissance man” of printmaking.  Attending Princeton University for Pre-Law, Arms then went on to M.I.T., earning a B.S. and M.S. in architecture.  After working in architecture firms and serving in the military, he began to focus on printmaking.  It is believed that an etching kit given to him by his wife initiated his interest in this direction, as well as the prints of Ernest Lumsden.  Arms never lost his interest in architecture, however – he instead used printmaking to express his passion, making etchings and aquatints that focused on the theme of architecture. A meticulous artist, Arms would work with three magnifying glasses and a common household needle.  Arms greatly influenced the print world through his work and through his support of other artists.  At the time of his death in 1938, he had amassed a personal collection of nearly 5,000 prints by other artists. He wrote two texts, “Handbook on Printmaking and Printmakers” (1934) and “Design in Flower Arrangement” (1937), served as the President of the Society of American Etchers, and founded the American National Committee on Engraving.  Producing 444 prints over five decades, he is indeed a treasure to the printmaking world.