Lotte Jacobi, Cynthia Brants (No. 8), ca. 1945. © 2019 The University of New Hampshire.
Cynthia Brants, Venus, 1943. Engraving and soft ground etching, plate: 4 x 4 7/8 in. (10.2 x 12.4 cm); sheet: 8 7/8 x 11 ¾ in. (22.5 x 29.8 cm). Courtesy Cynthia Brants Trust, Granbury, Tex.

14. Cynthia Brants

Life Dates1924-2006
Place of BirthFort Worth, TX, USA
Place of DeathFort Worth, TX, USA
Birth NameCynthia Brants

Cynthia Brants, a lifelong Texan, was born into a prominent Fort Worth family. At nine years old she realized she wanted to be an artist after sitting for a portrait with Dickson Reeder, a local artist who had coincidentally studied at Atelier 17 in Paris from 1936 to 1937 alongside his soon-to-be wife, Flora Blanc.1 In her teens Brants pursued instruction from other local artists including Blanche McVeigh, Evaline Sellors, and Wade Jolly. She attended Sarah Lawrence College beginning in 1941, where she met her lifelong mentor, Kurt Roesch. He had a profound impact on Brants’s career, introducing her to European modernism and arranging for her to attend Atelier 17 during her junior year. She jumped at the opportunity to study with Hayter and dove into printmaking studies with characteristic pluck. Prints such as Venus show her exploring two of Atelier 17’s core processes—engraving and soft ground etching—and foreshadow her rigorous technical experimentation at the printmaking studio she established in Granbury, Texas, in the 1970s.2 After a short, post-college trip to Europe, Brants returned to Texas, where she became a member of the Fort Worth Circle of modernist artists and taught at various institutions. Her paintings and prints reflected a lifelong engagement with cubism and use of geometry to animate nature.


Cynthia Brants Papers, Robert E. Nail, Jr. Archives, Old Jail Art Center, Albany TX.

Selected Bibliography

Blagg, Margaret. Beyond the Circle: Cynthia Brants. Albany, TX: The Old Jail Art Center, 2007.

Smith, Mark L. Off the Edge: The Experimental Prints of Cynthia Brants. Austin: Flatbed Galleries, 2009.


  1. Margaret Blagg, Beyond the Circle: Cynthia Brants (Albany, Tex.: Old Jail Art Center, 2007), 5.
  2. For more on Brants’s work as a printmaker, see Mark L. Smith, Off the Edge: The Experimental Prints of Cynthia Brants (Austin: Flatbed Galleries, 2009).