Three Virgins, 3 Giraffes and a Turtle
Etching and soft ground etching
Image: 6 x 8 in.
Sheet: 7 5/8 x 9 1/4 in.
l.l. beneath image, in graphite: Three virgins, 3 giraffes + a turtle
signed, l.r. beneath image, in graphite: V Helfensteller
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Gift of Friends in memory of Bror Utter
© Estate of Veronica Helfensteller
Fort Worth became the epicenter of modernist printmaking in Texas when, in 1944, Helfensteller began holding weekly etching sessions at her studio. Joined by fellow artists such as Lia Cuilty, Kelly Fearing, Dickson and Flora Blanc Reeder, and Bror Utter—all members of the Fort Worth Circle, a loose collective of local artists interested in modern art— she created surrealist prints inspired by avant-garde practices in Paris and New York City.
Helfensteller’s prints from these sessions often portray humans and animals inhabiting fantastical settings that elude easy interpretation, such as this moonlit depiction of three women sitting before plates of fruit. In characteristically cryptic fashion, the artist’s inscription on the margin of the print indicates “3 giraffes,” yet only two are identifiable in the composition.
—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023)