This etching was based on my original drawings made from a family photograph taken by my Great-Great Maternal Aunt Victoria who lived on Alfred’s Alley in Philadelphia. She shot the black and white photo between 1938 and 1940 with a 35mm Kodak camera at night in mid-winter and developed the print in her Olde City photographic studio near Second and Arch Streets.
The etching is executed in French, oil-based inks and printed on RivesBFK white paper. This work is from the First Edition of Four Editions, and each edition will be limited to only five etchings. The Second, Third, and Fourth Editions will be printed during January of 2020. I used a Charles Brand industrial floor press that was manufactured in New York City. The image size is 6” wide by 8” high, and the etching comes with a frame, archival mat and kraft paper frame backing glued in place. The frame measures between 11 to 12 inches wide by 14 to 15 inches high. This work was printed at The Center for Works on Paper at 705 Christian Street within the Open Studio for Printmaking. This is a part of the Fleisher Art School, located on the 700 Block of Catharine Street, and is associated with The Philadelphia Museum of Art. This edition employed dark black ink on white paper each of the other three editions of five etchings will be executed in different color ink and paper color combinations. The studio techniques used included intaglio and aquatint.
The historic building in Di Falco’s etching was constructed in 1698 and dedicated in 1700 as Gloria Dei Church, also called Old Swedes’ Church. The area near the Delaware River was called “Wicaco” by the indigenous peoples This Native American word implied that the wooded area attracted many peaceful entities, both physical and spiritual. The following is quoted from THE GLORIA DEI OLD SWEDES’ CHURCH website http: www. old-swedes. com : “The buildings of Gloria Dei border the cemetery on three sides, with the church to the east closest to the Delaware River the rectory, parish hall and sexton s house to the north, and Roak house containing church offices and meeting spaces to the west. All buildings are of brick construction with entrances facing the cemetery. The rectory and the sexton s house were built in the 1830 s, the parish hall in 1863 and Roak house named for a past rector, John Craig Roak in 1969.
“Working in conjunction with the Swedish Colonial Society and our local Representative to Congress, William Barrett, Dr. John Craig Roak rector 1933-1972 was able to have Gloria Dei designated an official Historic Site of the Department of the Interior of the US government in 1942 before Independence Hall was so designated. That legislation called for the federal government to give us an appropriate setting, which eventually resulted in the removal of all non-church structures on the block in the 1960 s - there had been houses along Christian Street and factories on the south end of the block - and the landscaping of the property, including construction of a perimeter wall in the 1970 s. The legislation also provided for our independence the church is responsible for its own buildings, grounds and programs no federal funding is provided .”
Graveyard, Church, Philadelphia, Historic Building, Intaglio, Aquatint, Original Printmaking, Architecture Printmaking