H. Carroll Cassill


Artist Bio

Exhibition List

Artist Resume

Born Percival, Iowa 1928
University of Iowa, B.F.A. 1948
University of Iowa, M.F.A. 1950 ​​ ​
Tiffany Fellowship, Printmaking 1953​
Instructor of Printmaking, University of Iowa 1953-1957 ​
Head of Printmaking, Cleveland Institute of Art 1957-1991​​
Professor Emeritus, Cleveland Institute of Art 1991​​
Deceased, Cleveland 2008

Artist Biography

By Sarah Sakurazawa

“Cassill was only 19 and in his second year at Iowa in 1948 when he produced a satirical print titled “The Sophisticate” that was accepted for the exhibition New Directions in Intaglio at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis—and purchased by the Museum of Modern Art for its collection.”
http://clevelandartsprize.org/awardees/hc_cassill.html 

The backstory of this print is that my father had left the plate in the acid bath of the printmaking studio overnight by mistake and thought his work was ruined. His professor and mentor Mauricio Lasansky encouraged him to go ahead and print it anyway – and it ended up in the permanent collection of one of the premier art museums in America. 

Carroll Cassill headed the printmaking department at the Cleveland Institute of Art for 34 years and mentored many. “In his shy yet charismatic manner, he was a poet in the classroom,” said Thomas Lyon Mills, a student in the 1970s. “He taught by example – I could not wait to see his work.” 
Mills is now professor emeritus of drawing at the Rhode Island School of Design. (https://thomaslyonmills.com/biography/ ) 

“Before arriving in Cleveland, Cassill studied at the University of Iowa under the famed printmaker Mauricio Lasansky. Lasansky’s presence at that time produced an extraordinary impact on the art of printmaking nationwide. His approach to the medium was … also essentially expressive in orientation. … Cassill was to take this … to new heights. Most of the pieces use the printed plate only as a point of departure. What matters is the ardent potential of the mark, and what it says about the hand that made it.”   
— from “Triumphal Arcs” by Douglas Max Utter, Cleveland Free Times, April 11-17, 2001)

My father always had ink-stained hands – his hands were as rough and calloused as a dockhand’s from the work of cutting into zinc and copper, rubbing ink into yard-wide plates on a table-size hotplate, scrubbing off varnish and ink with sawdust and turpentine, turning the press flywheel – about 5 feet in diameter — by hand. Curlee Raven Holton, another student who also became a professor, (link https://www.ravenfinearteditions.com/about) recollects in the program notes for a printmaking workshop: “I was once told by my teacher, H.C. Cassill … that I was a good artist and should have faith in my possibilities. He was as demanding as he was supportive. I still hear his voice telling me to clean up after myself and that a print studio requires a shared sense of responsibility. I teach this also.” 

That “shared sense of responsibility” echoed in my parents’ political activism. During college my father traveled in Mexico on an American Friends Service Committee scholarship. That Quaker point of view (and maybe the crusading efforts of his mother, a schoolteacher and outspoken gadfly in small-town Iowa) shaped his commitment to advancing community justice through individual action and art. While perpetually strapped grad students, my parents spent a sizable chunk of their stipends on a print of “Aufruhr”  (or “Uprising”), Kathe Kollwitz’s powerful masterpiece depicting a peasant revolt. Jean later donated it to the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Wash. (downloaded foto into Cassill Art Photos/Family pix ) Both were involved in civil rights activism and protesting the Vietnam War with a group called Artists Against the War. 


“Soon after I came to the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1957 to teach printmaking, I posted a hand-lettered sign on the wall of the faculty/student lounge to announce an upcoming meeting of CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality,” my father wrote in a gallery program note.  “Several days later it was pointed out to me that someone had burned out the center of the sheet in the form of a cross. Student? Passerby? Bigot? Colleague? I pondered the meaning of this occurrence and kept the violated sheet … for several years. … I believe what it meant, most of all for me, was, LEARN TO PRINT BETTER.” 

It was typical of my father to find the quixotic twist, an obscure-yet-obvious-once-you-see-it idea. To turn vulnerability and hurt to defiant wit and bravura turns of intellect. Which could be baffling for us, his children, who winced at following the contours of his commentaries. 
Maybe his grandson understands better. “With me, he was always funny, goofy — an oddball sense of humor,” remembers Erik Takuichi Wallace. Like his grandfather, he’s a determined artist elevated to university instructor right out of college. (“He’s like Yoda but young,” wrote one student evaluation form, which could be an apt description for H.C.’s often cryptic comments.)  “Icarus” – one of Cassill’s prints that won acclaim for its thought-provoking portrayal of risk and retribution — is Erik’s favorite print, though he can’t say why. He says only that it looks cool. 
See for yourself … decide on your own. Which is all that Cassill would have asked. 

Recognition

Exhibitions & Awards

Public Collections
Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tenn.
Brooklyn Art Museum, New York
Cleveland Art Association, Ohio
Cleveland Artists Foundation, Ohio
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio
Hope College, Holland, Mich.
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Neb.
Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Oakland Museum of California, California
San Francisco Art Museum, California
St. John’s University, Minn.
State University of New York, Potsdam, N.Y. 
Syracuse University, N.Y.
Wichita Art Museum, Kansas
The College of Wooster, Ohio


Solo Exhibitions
Oakland Art Museum (currently Oakland Museum of California), Oakland, Calif. 1956
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 1960
Hanamura Gallery, Detroit 1964
Women’s City Club, Cleveland 1964
Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1966
Karamu Gallery, Cleveland 1966
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. 1967
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 1968
Nashville, Tenn. 1968
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tenn. 1968
H.C. Cassill: Etchings and Woodcuts, Van Zoeren Gallery, Hope College, Holland, Mich. 1970  
Fort Wayne Art Institute, Fort Wayne, Ind. 1971
Design Corner, Cleveland 1974 
St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minn. 1982
H.C. Cassill: Further Reflections, William Busta Gallery, Cleveland 1990
H.C. Cassill: Print-Drawings, William Busta Gallery, Cleveland 1994
H.C. Cassill: In Sets, William Busta Gallery, Cleveland 1996
H.C. Cassill: Fourth Show, William Busta Gallery, Cleveland 2001
H. Carroll Cassill: Memorial Exhibition and a Career Retrospective, William Busta Gallery, Cleveland 2008


Joint Exhibitions

with Jean Kubota Cassill

University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1960
Brooks Memorial Art Museum, Memphis, Tenn. 1960
Cleveland Play House Gallery, 1979
FAVA Art Gallery, Oberlin, 1983
Blackfish Gallery, Portland, Ore., 1983
The Art Gallery of Kendal at Oberlin, 2001


Group Exhibitions
A New Direction in Intaglio: The Work of Mauricio Lasansky and His Students, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis 1949
Internationale Graphik, Galerie Kunst der Gegenwart, Salzburg, Austria 1952
12th National Exhibition of Prints, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. 1954
Graphic Arts USA, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Ill. 1954
Watercolor, print, and drawing exhibition, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 1954
International Exhibition of Graphic Arts, traveling exhibition organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Salzburg and Vienna, Austria; Munich, Berlin and Hamburg, Germany 1954
7th Annual Iowa Artists Show, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa 1955
25th Annual Exhibition, Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, Mo. 1955
2nd Annual Western Sculpture and National Print Exhibition, Oakland Art Museum (currently Oakland Museum of California), Oakland, Calif. 1955
Bay Printmakers Society First National Exhibition of Prints, Oakland Art Museum (currently Oakland Museum of California), Oakland, Calif. 1955
The Boston Printmakers Eighth Annual Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 1955
2nd National Print Show, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1955
Modern Art in the USA, traveling exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art, Barcelona, Spain; London; Belgrade, Serbia 1955
Dallas National Print Exhibition, sponsored by the Dallas Print Society, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas 1955
Fine Art Exhibition of the Iowa State Fair, Des Moines, Iowa 1955
Printmakers of Southern California Annual, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 1955
Wichita Art Association Graphics Annual, Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kan. 1955
College Prints 1956, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio 1956
Mid-America Annual, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Mo. 1956
31st Annual International Competition, The Print Club (currently the Print Center), Philadelphia 1956
4th Midwest Biennial, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Neb. 1956
Print exhibition, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 1956
Annual print exhibition, Bradley University, Peoria, Ill. 1956
Denver Art Museum, Denver 1956
Drawings by Invitation, Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, Mich. 1957
9th Annual Iowa Artists Show, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa 1957
Annual Watercolor, Drawing and Print Exhibition of the San Francisco Art Association, San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco 1957
Traveling exhibition, American Federation of the Arts, organized by the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1957 
Youngstown College, Youngstown, Ohio 1957
National Print Exhibition, Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, Calif. 1958
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1958
The Boston Printmakers 11th Annual Print Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 1958
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, 1958
154th Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia 1959
Northwest Printmakers: 30th International Exhibition, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle 1959
12th Annual Jaycee Art Exhibit, May Co. Auditorium, Cleveland 1959 
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1959
Intaglios: The Work of Mauricio Lasansky and Other Printmakers Who Studied with Him at the State University of Iowa, Traveling exhibition beginning in Buenos Aires, Argentina and continuing throughout Latin America 1959
Washington Society of Printmakers, Washington, D. C. 1959
18th National Exhibition of Prints, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. 1960
The Society of Washington Printmakers, 23rd Exhibition, United States National Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. 1960
3rd National Print Exhibition, The Silvermine Guild of Artists, Inc., New Canaan, Conn. 1960
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1960
Wilbur Gallery, Cleveland 1960
75 Grabadores NorteAmericanos, Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela 1960
Iowa Print Group Exhibition, traveling exhibition to Latin America under the auspices of the U.S. State Department 1960
Iowa Print Group Exhibition, traveling exhibition to England under the auspices of the Fine Arts Council, London 1960
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis. 1960
Brooks Memorial Art Museum, Memphis, Tenn. 1960
May Arts Festival, Exhibition of Fine Arts, Olivet College, Olivet, Mich. 1961
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1961
The Boston Printmakers 14th Annual Print Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston 1961
14th Annual Fall Art Show sponsored by the Cleveland Junior Chamber of Commerce,
Illuminating Co., Cleveland 1961
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1961
National Print Show, SUNY Potsdam, Gibson Gallery, Potsdam, N.Y. 1961
First National Annual Print Invitational Exhibition, Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles 1961
American Printmakers 1962, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y. 1962
13th National Print Exhibition, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1962
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1962
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1962


Kansas City Art Institute Invitational, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Mo. 1962
19th National Exhibition of Prints, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. 1963
Biennale de Paris, Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris 1963
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1963
Ohio Graphics Exhibition, 37th Ohio Printmakers Exhibition, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio 1963
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1963
American Prints Around the World, selected by the Society of American Graphic Artists, Venezuela, Guatemala, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru 1963
Traveling exhibition of contemporary American prints, Bendigo Art Gallery, Australia 1963
American Printmakers 1964, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y. 1964
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1964
50th Anniversary Exhibition of the California Society of Etchers, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1964
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1964
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1965
American Printmakers, New Forms Gallery, Athens, Greece 1965
National Print and Drawing Invitational, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Mich. 1965
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Mich. 1965
Printmaking—A Family Affair, Pratt Institute, New York; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1966
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1966
Karamu Gallery, Cleveland 1966
Art Center, College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio 1966
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1966
Third Biennial National Invitational Print Exhibition, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles 1967
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1967
Images ’67, Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio 1967
41st Ohio Printmakers Exhibition, All-Ohio Graphics and Ceramics Exhibition, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio 1967
American Graphic Art Exhibition, Tuscon, Ariz. 1967
Annual print show, Mercyhurst College, Erie, Pa. 1967
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1968
Past and Present, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1968
Play House E. 77th Theater, Cleveland 1968
Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio 1968
The Artist-Teacher Today-USA, SUNY College at Oswego, Oswego, N.Y. 1968
The Cassill Family Exhibition of Drawings and Etchings, In Town Club, Cleveland 1969
Invitational, In Town Club, Cleveland 1969
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1969
11th Annual National Exhibition of Prints and Drawings, Oklahoma Art Center, Oklahoma City, Okla. 1969
National Print Exhibit, San Diego State University, San Diego,  1969
Artists for Peace, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland 1970
Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland 1970
Ohio University, Siegfred Hall Gallery, Athens, Ohio 1970 
4th Dulin National Print and Drawing Competition, Dulin Gallery of Art, Knoxville, Tenn. 1970
Rocky Mountain West National Invitational, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 1970
Art Center, College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio 1971
All-Ohio Graphics and Photography Bienniel, The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio 1971
Exhibition of recipients of Cleveland Arts Prize, Women’s City Club, Cleveland 1971
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1971
Rocky Mountain West National Invitational, Utah State University, Logan, Utah 1971
9th National Print Show, The Silvermine Guild of Artists, Inc., New Canaan, Conn. 1972
American Prints: 72, Memorial Union Gallery, North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D. 1972
Art Ball, Statler Hilton, Cleveland; Davenport Municipal Art Gallery, Davenport, Iowa 1972
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1972
Fine Arts School, Willoughby, Ohio 1972
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1973
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1973
Review of the Year 1973, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1974
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1974
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1974
Painting Show by Cleveland Heights Artists, Jewish Community Center, Cleveland 1975
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1975
Prints of the University Print Club, Mather Gallery, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland 1976
Exhibition of past recipients of Cleveland Arts Prize, Women’s City Club, Cleveland 1976
Exhibition of faculty sponsored by the Women’s Committee of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1976
Artists Choose Artists, NOVA (New Organization for the Visual Arts), Cleveland 1976
Exhibition of faculty of Cleveland Institute of Art, Beck Center for the Cultural Arts, Lakewood, Ohio 1976
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1976
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1977
May Show, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1977
The Printmaker’s Work, Bonfoey’s on the Square, Cleveland 1978
2nd Annual Faculty Exhibition at the Kenneth Beck Center, Beck Center for the Cultural Arts, Lakewood, Ohio 1978
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1979
Playhouse E. 77th Theater, Cleveland 1979
Scandesign, Cleveland 1980
Firelands Association for the Visual Arts), Oberlin, Ohio 1983
Exhibition of Cleveland Institute of Art  students and faculty, Karamu Gallery, Cleveland 1984
Kuban Gallery, Cleveland 1984
8th British International Print Biennial, Bradford, England 1984
Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, Ohio 1984
Woodcut Invitational: New Directions, Great Northern Corporate Center Art Gallery, North Olmsted, Ohio 1985
Exhibition of Cleveland Institute of Art  students and faculty, Karamu Gallery, Cleveland 1985
Nocturnal Impressions, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1985
Hope College, Holland, Mich. 1985
Multiples 4, Karamu Gallery, Cleveland 1986
Home is Where the Art Is, Alcazar Hotel, Cleveland 1986
Dorothy Rutka Porter Memorial Exhibition, Cleveland 1986
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1987
Multiples 5, Karamu Gallery, Cleveland 1987
Gum Tree Festival, Gum Tree Museum of Art, Tupelo, Miss. 1987
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1989
Multiples 7, Karamu Gallery, Cleveland 1990
Faculty Show, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland 1990
Multiples 8, Karamu Gallery, Cleveland 1991
Northeast Ohio Print Annual, William Busta Gallery, Cleveland 1991
Vision/Voice: 19 Ohio Printmakers, Great Northern Corporate Center Art Gallery, North Olmsted, Ohio 1992
Northeast Ohio Print Annual 6, William Busta Gallery, Cleveland 1994 
The Spirit of Cleveland, Cleveland Institute of Art, Ohio; Canton Museum of Art, Canton, Ohio; Art Space/Lima, Lima, Ohio; Riffe Galley, Columbus, Ohio; ; Beck Center for the Cultural Arts, Lakewood, Ohio 1995
S. W. Hayter’s Legacy in America, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland 1995
A Summer Painting Show, Great Northern Corporate Center Art Gallery, North Olmsted, Ohio 1998
Faith in My Possibilities: Mentors and Apprentices in Printmaking, Lafayette College, Easton, Penn.; Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia; Heights Arts Contemporary Community Gallery of the Heights Arts Collaborative, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 2003 From the Heights, Heights Arts Contemporary Community Gallery of the Heights Art Collaborative, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 2003

Listed In
Who’s Who in American Art, 1980 to present
Who’s Who in America, 1986 to present