Railroad Town

1951 woodcut
2007 ltd. ed. (50) block print



JimFlora.com is proud to offer limited edition relief prints struck from a well-preserved 1951 Flora woodcut.

Railroad Town was carved while Flora lived in Mexico. It’s a manic panorama, chock with feverish tension and crammed with sinister figures wedged together like rune-shaped brickwork. It’s one of Flora’s definitive masterpieces. Every quirk and every nuance is evident: music, architecture, dogs, and trains; wild contours and interlocking figures; degenerate behavior, multi-tiered cutaways, and unfathomable anatomy. It’s a graphic traffic jam. As Flora once confessed, “I could never stand a static space.”

The June 2007 numbered edition of 50 was produced by printmaker Bryan Baker at Yee-Haw Industrial Letterpress, Knoxville. Each impression is solid—and stunning.

The edition, struck from the artist’s original block, features black ink on 280g archival-quality Rives BFK cream. The block measures 11″ x 22-1/4″, and the full print (with border, not shown) measures 18-3/4″ x 30″. Each print is hand-titled and numbered at the lower corners, and is authenticated in letterpress type (see detail) in the bottom center with a stamped, dated seal indicating Jim Flora Art LLC (a Flora family enterprise) and Yee-Haw Industrial Letterpress.

Print numbers 11/50 thru 15/50, 17/50, and 20/50 thru 50/50 have been sold. Thirteen prints remain in stock. We are currently offering remaining numbers in the 10/50 thru 19/50 block (unframed) at $800.00 each plus s/h. These will be sold on a first-come basis. Prices will increase as edition stock depletes.

The prints are packaged in a clear sleeve with an acid-free backing sheet, and are shipped flat with buffering material to avoid bending or dents.

Great effort is made to ensure the quality and craftsmanship of each impression. Given the organic nature of the printing process, small spots or specks are often present. However, such minute imperfections are common, do not detract or distract from the image itself, and give each print unique characteristics. Production is quality-controlled: only first-rate prints are approved for the edition; flawed prints are destroyed.

We have VERY limited edition, numbered and authenticated 2006 proofs in different ink colors on two different papers. “Proof” does not mean “inferior” — it refers to an earlier production run of test prints, involving experiments with techniques. During the proofing stages, flawed prints are destroyed and quality prints are retained. Quality proofs result in restricted editions, which are titled, numbered, and (depending on the production stage) tagged as printer’s proofs, trial proofs, or color trial proofs.

Paper size for the proofs is larger than for the edition. Snapshots of the process show printmaker Bryan Baker pulling a red on white proof and inking the block in purple.

Pricing and specs for the unframed proofs are as follows:

paper: 280g archival-quality Rives BFK cream
paper size: 22-1/4 x 30
numbers available: 3/6, 5/6, 6/6
price: $2,000.00

Print 2/6 of the series is depicted. Prints 3/6, 5/6, and 6/6 are equivalent quality.

paper: Arches natural white
paper size: 22-1/2 x 30
number available: 1/3 (Numbers 2/3 and 3/3 are owned by private collectors)
price: $3,000.00

There is also one amazing black ink proof (numbered 1/1) which features a grainy impression with a ghost overprint that imbues the entire work with an unintended magical dimension and depth. This accidental print has qualities that cannot be duplicated, and looks as if it were detailed by the artist. The ghost impression is about a half-inch off, which creates evocative shadows and fascinating fills. We are asking $5,000 for that print. If you are seriously interested, email us for a glimpse.