Carlotta M. Huse + Wayne B. Blouch Drawings

The presentation of this collection of late 19th/early 20th century drawings by Carlotta M. Huse and Wayne B. Bloch is a collaboration between Critical Eye Finds and Ricco/Maresca Gallery. To launch an online viewing room featuring an essay about these drawings and this collaboration, click here. 

Carlotta M. Huse lived in Ossipee, NH, where her parents kept a small hotel. When she was about 8 years old, ca. 1898, she was given an old hotel ledger in which she began to draw over and around the writing already filling many of its pages. These drawings, many of them double-sided, come from that ledger. Clearly fascinated with the fashions of the day, Huse exuberantly documents hats and hairstyles, dresses and bows and boots, colorful patterns and corseted silhouettes. She also painstakingly maps rooms (of the hotel where she lived, we assume) as if seeing through the walls, down to every table and chair, often with a sleeping body in the bed.

Wayne B. Blouch was born in Bunker Hill, Lebanon County, and went on to teach social science in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, until his death at the age of 55. A few of these drawings, signed and dated 1910, were made when he was about 10 years old, suggesting that he was quite a prodigious young artist. He, too, clearly takes pleasure in rendering the particular details of his subjects, drawing every bell and whistle on a train engine, every tool in a farrier’s shop, not missing the chamber pot under the bed of a couple in their nightdresses. These subjects feel like friends and fixtures in his small town, rendered larger than life through his attention, while he also portrays an imaginary realm, in which a dog might read the newspaper, or a boy might fly a giant bird-like a kite.