Print Quarterly, December 2017

Posted in books, catalogues, journal articles, reviews by Editor on December 5, 2017

The eighteenth century in the current issue of Print Quarterly:

Paul Sandby, The Fire of Faction. The Fly Machine for Scotland, 1762, etching (London: The British Museum).

Print Quarterly 34.4 (December 2017)

• Aaron M. Hyman, “Patterns of Colonial Transfer: An Album of Prints in Mexico City,” pp. 393–99.
“The rediscovery of an album of European prints in Mexico City promises to fill in some of the scholarly gaps by bringing to roughly 500 the number of extant, loose-leaf European prints in Mexico that survive from the colonial period—vastly more than scholars were aware of only a decade ago. . . The album is loosely organized chronologically and by national schools, with the earliest prints appearing at the beginning, followed by the eighteenth-century material that constitutes most of it.”
• Ann V. Gunn, “The Fire of Faction: Sources of Paul Sandby’s Satires of 1762–63,” pp. 400–18.
“On 23 September 1762, ‘The Butifyer, a touch on the times. Also a poor man loaded with mischief, or John Bull and his sister Peg . . . Likewise the Fire of Faction’ were announced in The Public Advertiser, the first of three of a series of seven satirical prints created by Paul Sandy (1731–1809) in late 1762 during the negotiations for the Treaty of Paris that ended the Seven Years’ War . . . This group, however, has never been examined as a whole before. This article discusses the context within which these prints were made and identifies the imagery and literary sources employed in them.”

N O T E S  A N D  R E V I E W S
• Louis Marchesano, Review of Kristina Deutsch, Jean Marot: Un graveur d’architecture à l’époque de Louis XIV (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015), pp. 437–38.
• James Grantham Turner, Review of an issue of Casabella 856 (December 2015), dedicated to the Fondazione Querini Stampalia’s 2016 exhibition Giulio Romano’s I Modi and the Modi of of Carlo Scarpa and Alvaro Siza, which featured drawings by two modern architects with sexually explicit Italian prints from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, pp. 441–42.
• Antony Griffiths, Review of the exhibition catalogue Freyda Spira and Peter Parshall, The Power of Prints: The Legacy of William M. Ivins and A. Hyatt Mayor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016), pp. 468–70.

P U B L I C A T I O N S  R E C E I V E D

• Sharon Liberman Mintz, Shaul Seidler-Feller, and David Wachtel, eds., The Writing on the Wall: A Catalogue of Judaica Broadsides from the Valmadonna Trust Library (London: Valmadonna Trust Library, 2015), p. 462.
• Christien Melzer, ed., Im Zeichen der Lilie: Französische Druckgraphik zur Zeit Ludwigs XIV (Bremen: Kunstverein Bremen, 2017), pp. 462–63.
• Petra Zelenková, Jan Kupecký a ‘černé umění’ / Johann Kupezky (1666–1740) and ‘The Black Art’ (Prague: National Gallery, 2016), p. 463.
• Anna Schultz, Johann Gottlieb Glume (1711–1778): Das Druckgraphische Werk (Berlin: Galerie Bassenge, 2016), p. 463.
• Laura Moretti, Recasting the Past: An Early Modern ‘Tales of Ise’ for Children (Leiden: Brill, 2016), p. 463.

Exhibition | The Business of Prints

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on December 5, 2017

Press release (via Art Daily) for the exhibition:

The Business of Prints, 1400–1850
The British Museum, London, 21 September 2017 — 28 January 2018

Curated by Antony Griffiths

The British Museum has one of the greatest collections of prints in the world and holds the UK’s national collection. The majority of this collection, which totals more than two million prints, was made in the years before the invention of photography. Due to the sheer volume of the collection it can become difficult to grasp its contents, and many of the prints are today very unfamiliar and puzzling. For the past century, prints have usually been discussed either as finished works of art or as illustrations of a particular subject. This exhibition reverses the perspective in a way that has not been attempted before, and endeavours to show prints as an object of trade.

The exhibition The Business of Prints is in part based on the book The Print before Photography: An Introduction to European Printmaking, 1550–1820 by Antony Griffiths, published last year by British Museum Press. This won the Apollo Prize for the best art book of the year 2016. It is the first work ever to attempt to explain how the print world worked.

The exhibition focuses on four major topics: the production of prints, the lettering on prints, the usage of prints, and the collecting of prints and the concern for quality. In addition, books and series are being shown in table cases, and framed prints on the wall. Famous works by artists such as Dürer, Rembrandt, and Goya are being shown alongside far less familiar subjects by artists of the print trade who have almost been forgotten. Among them is a rabbit used as target practice, a prompt for an early form of karaoke, and prints from plates that had been so heavily used that they had almost worn out. The display offers a more complete understanding of the lettering on prints, the information it gives us, and some of the complicated ways in which images were linked with text.

We are now so used to the deluge of photographically-derived imagery of the modern world that it is difficult to imagine a period which lasted for nearly 450 years, from around 1400 to 1850, when every pictorial image had to be designed by someone and then cut by a craftsman onto a copper plate or wooden block—there were no mechanical aids. These were then printed by another expert, and distributed by printsellers to buyers around the whole of Europe. Behind them stood the publishers and entrepreneurs, who financed the production, and frequently came up with ideas for new subjects. It was a huge business, which gave work to thousands of people. The exhibition sheds light on this forgotten trade of mass production which required numerous collaborations in order to produce a single print, whilst revealing some of the complexities of the craftsmanship and the process, the varied nature of the prints themselves, and the ways in which buyers used or collected them.

Johannes Gutenberg invented moveable type in Mainz in the late 1440s. However, type is designed to deal with words, and as soon as the need to communicate goes beyond the verbal, the support of another variety of printing must be called on—one that is specifically suited for images. Two such technologies were used alongside type, one based around cutting designs into wooden blocks (the relief process of woodcut), the other in which the design was incised as lines into a copper plate (the intaglio processes such as engraving and etching).

The uses to which these technologies were put were enormously varied. The printing of maps and music, wallpaper, diagrams, decorative paper, bank notes, playing cards and fans, as well as many types of decoration of textiles and ceramics, depended on woodcut or engraving. Many of these applications spun off to become separate businesses. In museums the field is conventionally narrowed to one area of this vast expanse, that of pictorial images on sheets of paper. This is still very wide, covering a wide range of functions, such as portraits, devotional images, current events, landscape and topography, caricature, fantasy and designs for the decorative arts. Many of these classes of print did not need the support of typography, and most intaglio prints carried their text engraved on the plate itself alongside the image. One example that demonstrates the volume and diversity of the European print trade is the mass production of the recognisable image of a devotional saint which would have been sold by pedlars and worn as amulets by peasants. These were often printed on vellum, a more durable material than paper, to withstand daily wear and tear.

When speaking of the display, curator Antony Griffiths highlights that “this is the first exhibition ever to demonstrate what prints can tell us about the vast business of trading prints. The exhibition aims to open the visitor’s eyes to the business of printing. Prints were multiples made in the hope that people would buy lots of them. The range of subjects, sizes and purposes was huge—far larger than people realise today.”


Call for Papers | Fashion and Clothing in European Museums

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 5, 2017

From H-ArtHist:

Fashion and Clothing in European Museums: Collection, Research, Exhibition
Musée Alsacien, Strasbourg/Haguenau, 17–19 May 2018

Proposals due by 19 December 2017

Courtyard of the Alsatian Museum in Strasbourg (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, June 2009).

This interdisciplinary international conference Fashion and Clothing in European Museums: Collection, Research, Exhibition is organised by the European Research Interest Group Appearances, Bodies and Societies / Apparences, Corps et Sociétés (ACorSo). With the intent of reflecting the current museum landscape and of developing debate on future directions for museums of art, dress and textiles, ethnography and history, members of the Research Interest Group welcome papers that respond closely to the following issues:
• What fundamental themes and debates have museums attached to their collections of textiles, dress, and fashion?
• What ambitions have been attached to the development of dress, fashion, and textile collections? How are these collections integrated within the global project of museums and the museum itinerary?
• How can we overcome the status of differences that exist between (high) fashion and everyday and ethnographical dress and their museum display?
• Should the promulgators of the new museologies of the study of fashion and dress—so far mostly applied to analysis of museums of international standing or to specialised museums—take an interest in the work of small and medium sized museums?
• In what ways is digitization a challenge or a potential to the museum?
• Where should small and medium sized museums seek professional advice? What professional skills are needed for these museums? Is there a preferred work methodology?
• What links to established research can museums initiate and set in place, precisely because of their specificities? What has already been initiated?
• The situation of some of some small local museums with collections including dress, textiles, and their related industries is now so perilous that some have been, and are being, closed. What positive proposals have been set in place that have already addressed this problem or are currently dealing with it?

We are interested in receiving discussion papers from colleagues working with collections, be they curators, collectors, researchers, managers, museographers, etc. The languages of the conference will be French, German, and English. In view of the trans-European character of this conference, we ask you to submit your abstract in two languages—in any combination of French, German, and English (i.e. French and German, French and English, or English and German). Your submission should be 300 words long, with the translation bringing it to a total of 600 words. Abstracts must be relevant to the issues detailed in this Call for Papers and should clearly highlight the specific themes your paper will address. You will be informed in January on the status of your submission.

Abstracts should be submitted to
• Lou Taylor, Prof. Emerita (lt73@brighton.ac.uk); Dr. Charlotte Nicklas (c.nicklas@brighton.ac.uk). School of Humanities, University of Brighton, 10/11, Pavilion Parade, Brighton, BN 2 1RA, UK.
• Jean-Pierre Lethuillier (jean-pierre.lethuillier@univ-rennes2.fr). Université Rennes 2, Département d’Histoire, Place du recteur Henri Le Moal, CS 24307, 35043 Rennes cedex, France.

Call for Papers | Things Left Behind

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 5, 2017

From the University  of Missouri-Columbia:

Things Left Behind: Material Culture, Disaster, and the Human Experience
University of Missouri Art History and Archaeology Graduate Student Association Symposium
University of Missouri-Columbia, 9–10 March 2018

Proposals due by 20 January 2018

The Art History and Archaeology Graduate Student Association at the University of Missouri-Columbia invites submissions from graduate students that investigate topics that research the material culture of disaster and abandonment and discuss how such topics inform the human experience. Topics may include (but are not limited to):
• Disasters of personal, man-made, or natural character
• War and conflict
• Forced migrations
• Plague, illness, and other pandemics
• Abandonment
• Recovery and revitalization

We are seeking papers that explore various approaches to these topics, such as representations of disasters, artists influenced by war and disaster, art or crafts produced by displaced populations, the archaeological record of destruction and rebuilding, or archaeologically based narratives of disasters. Topics from any historical period of Art History, Archaeology, Classics, History, Anthropology, Sociology, Religious Studies, and other fields related to visual and material culture will be considered for twenty-minute presentations. The keynote lecture by Dr. Steven L. Tuck, Professor of Classics at Miami University, will take place on Friday evening, March 9, and student presentations will be held on Saturday, March 10. Proposals should consist of a 250–500 word abstract and a CV. Please submit proposals electronically to mu.ahagrads@gmail.com no later than January 20, 2018.

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