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Friday, October 9, 2015
Fred Machetanz: "Robbie and the Sled Dog Race" Book Illustrations, 1964
Distinctive illustrations capture the Alaskan scene as well as the excitement of the story which simply traces Robbie's preparations for the "three-dogger" race at the Snow Fair, the competition itself, and his triumphant victory. Mr. Machetanz' drawings are done in a sprinkling of black dots with ice-blue shadows set against expanses of white, an effect almost like the negative of a photograph, to create the cold, bright, snowy feeling of the scenery. This is another vivid portrayal of Alaska by the author/illustrator team that did Barney Hits the Trail and A Puppy Named Gih.
Fred Machetanz was an American visual artist who was born in 1908. Machetanz has had numerous gallery and museum exhibitions, including at the Frye Art Museum and at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. Numerous works by the artist have been sold at auction, including "The Chief Dances" sold at the 2012 Coeur d'Alene Art Auction for $30,000. Many articles have continued to be written about Machetanz, including "The Greathouse Touch: Several Exhibits at the Frye Reveal the Canny Curatorial Eye of Former Director Ida Kay Greathouse" written by Michael Upchurch for The Seattle Times in 2010. The artist died in 2002.