Mar 12, 2014

10 Stones

10 Stones


John Cage Crown Point Press, Printer: Pamela J. Paulson

(American, 1912–1992)

Color spit bite and sugar lift aquatint on smoked paper

Support: Whatman wove paper

Platemark: 20.3 x 36.5 cm (8 x 14 3/8 in.); Sheet: 46.3 x 58.3 cm (18 1/4 x 22 15/16 in.)

Alma Kroeger Fund 2013.93

Impression: 5


Did you know?

Though known today primarily as one of 20th-century America's most influential composers and music theorists, John Cage was also a visual artist, especially in the last decades of his life.


At the beginning of his career, John Cage, an innovator whose experiments became profoundly influential to avant-garde music, was equally attracted to the visual arts. However, Cage honored the promise he made to his teacher Arnold Schönberg to dedicate his life exclusively to music. In the last decades of his life, Cage made a body of visual art whose forms he intended to "sober and quiet the mind." In this print, the forms of 10 stones are derived from tracings Cage made of rocks found in the New River near Mountain Lake, Virginia. The evanescent tones that seem to billow from the rocks were created by smoke, deliberately created by the artist’s printers who extinguished burning newspapers with the press, creating 20 unique impressions.

See also
PR - Etching
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Alma Kroeger Fund

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email [email protected].

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.