The Harbor of Aden


John Taylor Arms (1887–1953) was a major figure in American graphic arts in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his architectural studies and panoramas of European cities and towns. The images of the gargoyles of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris are among his most recognizable work, as are his studies of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. Arms produced few studies of Eastern landscapes. Presented here is one such study. It shows sailboats on the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of the port city of Aden (present-day Yemen). It is not known when the work was created; it may have been during his service as a navigation officer in the United States Navy during World War I or perhaps several years earlier, while traveling with his wife. His other maritime work includes a series depicting American warships. Collaborating on his travels, studio work, and publications was his wife, Dorothy Noyes Arms. This impression is signed and dated by Arms and is numbered 6 of 40. It was printed by Frederick Reynolds, a printmaker in New York City with whom Arms worked in the 1920s. John Taylor Arms served as president of the Society of American Graphic Artists. As a teacher he was known to share his techniques generously with students.

Last updated: March 17, 2016