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Pandemic Escape: A new way to look at 1930s art

A unique interactive catalogue of original prints and historic photographs capturing where the artist once stood.

Spirit of the American City ( is an online show inviting viewers to imaginatively explore early 20th century prints through the perspective of period photography.  See what the artist saw. Understand the inspiration. View it as a social time capsule while admiring the mastery of these revered printmakers.

What makes this show special? This is the first time that original prints have been paired with related videos and historic photographs.  From a private east coast collection, these outstanding prints are by a wide range of well-known WPA period printmakers, including Edward Hopper, George Bellows, Charles Sheeler, Benton Spruance and Childe Hassam.  Every print has been researched in detail and is accompanied by a mix of vintage photos, historic videos and news articles that give hints to what led the artist to capture that specific image in time.

Not just for collectors, this is a show for all to enjoy. Created by Catherine Burns Fine Art (, a gallery located in the San Francisco Bay Area, this show is a breath of fresh air.  Released to a select group, the show has received rave reviews from leading print experts:

This is astonishing; itself, a work of art as showcase. This is such a contribution to our understanding of our urban culture and the artists that captured moments we have all experienced, albeit in a more modern setting.” (R. Reinis, collector)

This is a stunning, breathtaking, awe inspiring, spectacular presentation and commentary. I congratulate you – and thank you for this amazing record in prints, photography and commentary.” (Tobey Moss, California Art specialist)

MAGNIFICENT!!  It’s really over the top.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it.  The one good thing to come out of COVID!” (Stephen Thomas, Arts and Crafts expert)

“I’m still shaking from viewing those workers putting together the NY skyscrapers. If the IFPDA (International Fine Print Dealers Association) had an award for best online catalogue, you’d get it.” (Harris Schrank, IFPDA member)

“The feedback from the show has been extraordinary,” said Catherine Burns, a 35-year veteran in the art world and owner of Catherine Burns Fine Art.  “The inspiration for the show was to find a way to make hundred-year-old prints a momentary escape from the doom and gloom of the pandemic. A love letter to the artists and the cities that inspired them.”

The show is online and free to the public via the website at  It is best enjoyed on a large screen. All of the featured prints are for sale.

Catherine Burns has been a dealer in fine prints and drawings for more than 30 years, and specializes in both American and European prints from the 19th and early 20th centuries.  She launched her business after serving as the Curator of the art museums at University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Washington University, St. Louis. A founding member of the International Fine Print Dealers Association, Catherine Burns exhibits at national and international art fairs, and visitors are welcomed to the spacious gallery only 15 minutes from San Francisco by appointment.

Contact Information:                     

Catherine Burns Fine Art
Show link:
Phone: 1-510-654-7910
Email: [email protected]
Mailing Address: PO Box 5855, Berkeley, CA 94705

Press inquiries should go to Lisa Diamond, [email protected]

Artists featured in the show include: James Allen, John Taylor Arms, George Bellows, Howard Cook, Gerald Geerlings, Jolan Gross-Bettelheim, George Grosz, Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, Earl Horter, Eli Jacobi, Martin Lewis, Louis Lozowick, Samuel Margolies, Christopher Nevinson, Arnold Ronnebeck, Charles Sheeler, and Benton Spruance.