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Weidenaar Prints ➔ Printing Tools

On exhibit are the following tools: 2 brayers, 1 chasing hammer, 1 scraper, 2 dry point needles, 1combination burnisher and dry point needle, 1 scraper burnisher, 1 65 guage roulette, 1 mezzotint rocker 70 teeth per inch. The following information pertains to the archival collection as a whole: collection consists of tools, photographs, materials, illustrations created by the artist, and personal artifacts relating to Reynold Weidenaar (1915-1985), a West Michigan graphic artist of national reputation. Personal artifacts in the collection include a red beret, a personal trademark of the artist, and an equally recognized State of Michigan auto license plate 'ARTIST' from 1985. There are 3 photos of the artist at work and 2 contact sheets of him in his studio. Also included in the collection are some 14 tools and materials he used, including a Castell Pencil Box signed by the artist, engraving tools, a chasing hammer, a rocker, burnisher, roulette, scrapers, etc. There are 20 illustrations by the artist depicting the tools, materials and processes of print making. There are also a set of tests used in print making including aquatint tests, messotint sharpening test, tone test, and rocker tests. (See the Archival Collection Finding Aid for a more detailed listing.);ACCEPT RELEVANCE: This collection assists in the documentation and interpretation of Reynold Weidenaar, a West Michigan graphic artist. Of national repute, Weidenaar relied heavily on the people and the landscapes of West Michigan as subjects for his works. This artistic documentation of the changing social, cultural, and artchitectural environment of West Michigan can be useful in a broad range of exhibitions and museum programs. OTHER COLLECTIONS: This collection relates to the Museum's graphic collection 1993.48.KWAPIL01
1915 – 1985
Current Location Status:
On Exhibit
Gift Of Carla Collins And Paula Weidenaar Graf In Memory Of Their Father, Reynold H. Weidenaar
Weidenaar Exhibit (1994) (1994 – 2014)
This exhibit features highlights from the Grand Rapids Public Museum's exhaustive collection of Weidenaar prints, as well as photographs, tools, and personal items related to the artist's life and work.

Through the Eyes of Weidenaar (2015)
The Grand Rapids Public Museum is proud to present an exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of internationally renowned artist Reynold Weidenaar. "Through the Eyes of Weidenaar" will showcase a large portion of the GRPM’s unparalleled collection of Weidenaar’s prints, plates, tools and personal effects. The collection, a majority of which was donated by Jay and Betty Van Andel, speaks to the history of Grand Rapids from the artist's unique point of view. Approximately 100 works by Weidenaar will be on display. The exhibition will focus on the art of printmaking and how Weidenaar incorporated local scenes, humor, and his own personal worldview into his art.
Reynold H. Weidenaar
Reynold Weidenaar was born in Grand Rapids in 1915, the eldest of two children of a Christian Reformed minister.  In 1923, at the age of 8, Rey found a drawing of a train on a pile of garbage.  The simple line drawing of a locomotive speeding down the tracks caught his eye and galvanized his imagination.  And while many 8-year-old boys might love to draw trains, Rey Weidenaar was really, really good at it.

What followed was an extraordinary artistic career that Weidenaar pursued with diligence and passion right up until his death in 1985.  While the critical successes of Weidenaar’s career can be measured by the hundreds of awards his works earned, here in his hometown, “Rey” was well known for his trademark red beret and his often-sighted license plate which simply read, “ARTIST.”

Weidenaar saw himself and his work as a bulwark of sanity and realism in an art world that frequently leaned towards the sensational and the abstract.  His role as an arbiter of taste for Grand Rapidians is perhaps best summed up by a quote he gave to the Grand Rapids Press in 1978, “Abstract art offends me, and the lifestyle of some abstract artists offends me.”

Paula Weidenaar Graf