Lyonel Feininger (American, 1871-1956)
Volcano [Vulkan] from Twelve Woodcuts by Lyonel Feininger [Zwolf holzschnitte von Lyonel Feininger] (1912)
Woodcut on Japan paper, 4 5/16 x 5”
Gift of Dr. Jean Henley, 1978.16c
Earth's Higher Power
The Earth system runs on three sources of energy: solar, gravitational, and geothermal. Geothermal energy, though essential for life, is not without its risks. When made manifest as a vast outpouring of lava, it caused the greatest of Earth’s six mass extinctions, the "Great Dying" about 251 million years ago. During the age of sail, violent eruptions like that of Krakatoa in 1883 were global news, perhaps inspiring the artist who was 12 years old at the time. In our age of aviation, Icelandic volcanoes have brought European commerce to a standstill.