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Frederick Monhoff, Penitent Motive

The exterior card image depicts a group of Penitentes, a lay religious order in Northern N.M. whose roots are from Spain. The traditionally cloaked men surround a cross with a Christ figure suspended on the cross to the right of the scene. The lit morada or house of worship is visible mid ground behind the cross. Mountains are behind the morada and individuals are seen leaving to the left. The second image is the card inside the folded greeting. It expresses Christmas 1922 and is elaborately bordered with decorative flourishes. Three engraved women in arte nouveau fashion cavort in the center of the image.
- Judith Kendall, I.S.A., AM

Frederick Monhoff
Frederick Monhoff (November 23, 1897–October 11, 1975) was an American architect, artist, and illustrator. His architectural style ranged from art deco to mid-century modern, while his etchings of the 1920s-30s documented scenes of Native American and Mexican life in the American Southwest.

Early life and Family
Frederick Monhoff was born in New York City to Emil Monhoff (1865-1922) and Maria Therese Kremer Monhoff (1864-1951). As a boy, Monhoff moved to Los Angeles with his family and then attended the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, he was on the literary staff of The Occident and he received his M.A. from the school.
On June 29, 1926, Monhoff married Hildegarde Flanner and they settled in Altadena, California. Monhoff illustrated several of Flanner's books of poetry and essays with his drawings and etchings. The couple had one child, John, born March 15, 1941. Hildegarde's sister was Janet Flanner, a long time Paris correspondent for The New Yorker, (writing under the pen name Genet). In 1962, Monhoff and his family moved north to Calistoga, California, in the Napa Valley and he died there in 1975.

Monhoff taught design at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles (1926-1950) and at the Pasadena Art Institute (1959). During the 1940s, he also taught architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He served as a design architect for the Los Angeles County Architectural Divisions and designed numerous public buildings and private residences in Southern California in the Los Angeles area, Malibu, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Orange County, and in Northern California in the Napa Valley.
The International Printmakers Society of California awarded Monhoff a bronze medal for Best Print or Best Series of Prints in 1924 and he was listed in Who's Who in California, 1942-1943. The Frederick Monhoff Memorial Prize and The Frederick Monhoff Printing Lab at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California are named in his honor. In early 2000, Monhoff's work was featured in the Sweet Briar College gallery exhibition, "White to Blue: American Art as Reflection of Social Class in the 20th Century." Collections of his papers, architectural plans, and art work are held at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the de Young Museum in San Francisco and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.
Penitent Motive, 1922
Drypoint and etching
sheet: 6 1/4 × 7 1/2 in. (15.9 × 19.1 cm)
Gift of David and Carol Farmer