D15  1924

D13  1924

D28  1926

D14  1924 var.I

D5 1905                                   D5 1905 var.I                                D5 1905 var. II

Martin Erich Philipp was one of the pioneering German printmakers creating prints from around 1907. One of the first topics he embraced were the Macaws he saw in Dresden Zoo. Like Fritz Lang’s iconic macaw prints these today are considered icons of early and modern European print making. 

MEPH created his Macaw prints in two separate periods: the first 2 in 1908 and later in 1924, 1926 and 1931. Consult the Catalogue Raisonnee or “Werkvertzeichnis” in full colour Das Haus der Frau created together with the prints by his wife Else Staps and close follower Walter Helfenbein.

MEPH created a new (and important) market by exhibiting and selling stacks of his first large vertical parrot prints in America. But also in Germany many artists saw the decorative (and commercial) possibilities of the parrot. In most cities a zoo with a fine collection was nearby and at hand. Besides the macaw (Ara), cockatoos were the second tropical bird to follow in the printed aviary, while some artists added pheasants, peacocks and guinea fowl.

Over the years several MEPH prints found their way into this collection. When the time arose to make choices in a growing collection, the parrot prints became part of it and were allowed to stay. Besides the parrots two other exquisite gems of Modern printmaking (Cat. nrs. D10 and D11) were privileged to stay. The others eventually will find their way to other collections on the basis of friendly trade and swapping. 

These two matching in size prints were created in 1918 and 1920 and I think were a display of what the artist was technically (cap)able of.  Between the parrots in 1908 and these Japanese style prints just 4 others, equally icons of Modern Printmaking, were conceived of which copies were found and exchanged with colleague collections.