Friends of the Wind

Friends of the Wind

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"Friends of the Wind" is a drypoint by Mildred Bryant Brooks (1901-1995). Brooks, who had a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian's U. S. National Museum in 1936, was known for her skillful etchings of trees. Although she also printed still lifes and figures, she remained committed to images of nature, perhaps stemming from her childhood study of the outdoors with her scientist father. The black and white print depicts tall, slender trees, forming two diagonal lines, which meet on the right side of the print. A stream winds off toward the horizon on the left side.
The trees are very detailed, the branches and leaves rendered with very fine and delicate lines, evincing the influence on her by seventeenth-century Netherlandish printmaking. Conversely, Brooks gave very little detail to the ground, except for the loosely drawn stream and the trees' shadows. The sky is completely without detail and the dark tree tops, which appear to blend together, provide a sharp contrast against the pale backdrop.
In addition to her printmaking, Brooks had an extremely prolific career as a painter, muralist, and interior decorator, and she received numerous awards and prizes. Despite experiencing financial problems during the Depression and a shortage of supplies during World War II, she persevered by printing on her own press for other artists as well as herself; teaching, lecturing, and exhibiting extensively in her home state of California; and even producing educational films. Unfortunately, her failing vision cut short her etching career in the 1960s.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Other Terms
Print; Drypoint
Date made
original artist
Brooks, Mildred Bryant
place made
United States: California
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
image: 18.6 cm x 20.2 cm; 7 5/16 in x 7 15/16 in
sheet: 23 cm x 27 cm; 9 1/16 in x 10 5/8 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Work and Industry: Graphic Arts
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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