John William Joseph Winkler

1894 – 1979

Born in Vienna, Austria, Winkler arrived in NY at age 16. His writings indicate he soon went to San Francisco where he enrolled in the Mark Hopkins Art Institute (later known as the California Institute of Fine Arts) and began to study etching about 1912. His first published etching was in 1915. By 1923 he had created 88 etchings of the nooks, crannies, and street life of San Francisco. Chinatown and Telegraph Hill were especially rich in subject matter for him.

Winkler worked directly on the plate without preliminary drawings. This way of working contributed to the freshness of his line. His printing plates were deeply etched in some areas which made the line work on the rest of the plate appear all the more delicate. He was compared with Whistler for his ability to capture light and movement

He went to Europe and spent eight years traveling through England and France, returning in the early years of the Depression. His biography is incomplete during the Depression years, but he appears not to have been involved in any of the WPA Arts programs of the 30s and early 40s. The professional memberships he held indicate he was able to make his living through commercial illustration even during the Depression. In1936, he was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design and elevated to full Academician in 1951.

He was a member of the Chicago Society of Etchers, the American Society of Illustrators, the Society of American Graphic Artists, the San Francisco Art Association and an honorary member of the Printmakers Society of California.

His etchings are in the collections of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts which gave him a solo show in 1974; the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library of Congress; Metropolitan Museum; Oakland Museum; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Musee’ de Luxembourg; Biblioteque Nationale, Paris; and the Chicago Art Institute, among others.

John Taylor Arms, one of Winkler’s printmaking contemporaries, and his friend, said, “Winks” was a “master of line”, the “master of us all”.

“The Chinese Drug Store”
Image size 9 1/8 x 11 3/8
Sheet size 12 7/8 x 20 ¼
$375.00 unframed

image size 6 3/4″ x 11 1/2″
paper size 18″ x 13″