The first Associated American Artists mail-order catalogs were sent out in the mid-1930s, hawking etchings and lithographs by such celebrated American Scene artists as Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, and John Steuart Curry, along with lesser-known realists. Over the next six decades, the offerings expanded to include tableware, textiles, and such novelties as “Paintagraphs” — vibrant, painting-like prints created through a complicated process of colored inks on acetate that could be faithfully translated on printing presses.
The Grey Art Gallery exhibition includes dozens of early black-and-white AAA prints depicting rural vistas, Mexican laborers, ironworkers, and leisure-time pursuits in cities and heartland alike. — R.C. Baker