Gene Kloss (Alice Geneva Kloss) (1903-1996) is among the major 20th century printmakers—known for Western landscapes and images of Pueblo Indians. Over the course of her 70 year career, Kloss created work in a variety of media, though she is most known for her practice as an intaglio printmaker. Of her art, ArtNews wrote, “Gene Kloss is one of our most sensitive and sympathetic interpreters of the Southwest.”
Kloss’s art received widespread recognition beginning in the 1930s, during which she lived in an old adobe below the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Taos. A member of the Taos Art colony, she produced a series of prints for the Public Works of Art Project and the Works Progress Administration depicting scenes of life in New Mexico that were reproduced and distributed to public schools across the state.
While trained as an artist at the San Francisco School of Fine Arts, Kloss was largely self-taught as a printmaker. Kloss was very experimental—developing and perfecting a technique she called "painting" that is recognized today as Kloss’ unique printing technique. Through the direct application of acid onto copper plates with pencils or fine Japanese brushes, Kloss achieved the subtle, painted tones, bright halos, and gradations of dark color for which she is well known.
Kloss was the first American woman printmaker to be inducted into the National Academy of Design. Works by Kloss are in the Metropolitan Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Carnegie Institute, San Francisco Museum of Art, Library of Congress, and National Academy of Design, among others.