This exhibition explores the different techniques for making prints—from woodblock impressions to lithography—as well as how prints were used in a variety of cultures and time periods. No matter what the technique or purpose, all forms of printmaking share something in common: the ability to produce multiple copies quickly and accurately. Once the only exact method of reproduction available, printmaking continues to hold great allure for artists today.
Prints and Printmaking introduces the processes used to create works elsewhere in the museum, including about 140 European and American prints on view in the exhibition Between Fact and Fantasy: The Artistic Imagination in Print.
The mezzotint from ca. 1765 seen here is a reproduction of painting by Sofonisba Anguissola, one of very few women to earn fame as an artist in 16th- and 17th-century Italy. The mezzotint, in which the printmaker roughens the entire surface of the printing plate so it will hold ink and then burnishes smooth the areas meant to stay white, was suited to reproducing paintings because it allowed for a range of light and dark tones.
The exhibition was organized by Curatorial Assistant in the Office of Academic Programs Sarah McLusky.
William Baillie (English, 1723–1792)
Sofonisba Anguissola (Anguisciola), after her self-portrait, ca. 1765
Gift of Wolfgang Stechow, 1961.94