Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Chartres Cathedral

  • Artist:

    Chamberlain, Samuel

  • Artist Bio:

    American, 1895–1975

  • Date:

    about 1930–40

  • Medium:

    Etching and drypoint

  • Dimensions:

    14 1/4 in x 9 1/2 inches

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Gift of Mosby Lincoln Foundation

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display

About the Artwork

Samuel Chamberlain

American, 1895–1975

Chartres Cathedral, 1931

Etching and drypoint

Wichita Art Museum, Gift of Mosby Lincoln Foundation


Like his contemporary John Taylor Arms—whose own etching of Chartres Cathedral is located nearby—Chamberlain studied architecture before turning to printmaking. A student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the height of the American Gothic revival, Chamberlain’s teachers taught him to emulate the “spirituality, honest design, and fine craftsmanship” of European cathedrals. Chamberlain fell in love with these cathedrals in person while serving in the military during World War I.

In this print of Chartres, Chamberlain brings his precise, architectural draftsmanship to the famous cathedral. Chamberlain’s exacting rendering emphasizes the building’s linear structure. For many architects in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Gothic buildings served as technological models for modern design. Like modern architects, medieval builders relied on a skeletal system filled with glass to make ever-higher buildings.