The September issue of Westways, the magazine the Auto Club sends to its members, features a short but informative piece on wood engraver Paul Landacre, the Echo Park printmaker whose covers graced Westways' predecessor, Touring Topics,
beginning in 1936. According to author Morgan P. Yates, Landacre's work
“was encouraged and inspired by a group of artists and intellectuals
who socialized with Los Angeles bookseller Jake Zeitlin in the 1920s
[and] included journalist Carey McWilliams, photographers Edward Weston
and Will Connell, architect Lloyd Wright and writer and librarian
Lawrence Clark Powell.”
Working with an ancient, nearly one-ton hand press that he'd salvaged from the Bodie ghost town, Landacre imbued his pastoral scenes with a modernist sensibility, at ease with nature but suggesting a brooding sensuality or dark encroachment at the edges of his landscapes. (Think Ansel Adams' camera being used by Lynd Ward.) Landacre, who taught at Otis Parsons, lived with his wife Margaret in a cabin on Echo Park's El Moran Street, until he committed suicide in 1963 following his wife's death.
Historic Echo Park and on Diane Edwardson's Semi-Tropic Spiritualists Tract blog and at her Corralitas Red Car Property site. The Landacre cabin was designated a city cultural-historical monument three years ago.
The current Westways issue with Yates' Landacre feature is not yet online, but should be available by next month. In honor of the Touring Topics/Westways
centennial, the magazine is highlighting graphics and writing from its
archives — Landacre's 1936 engraving, “Glendale Boulevard Bridge,”
appears on September's cover.