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Printmaking Exhibition Opens November 14 at the Gibbes

Exhibition Examines Printmaking Processes From the 19th Century Through Today

(October 15, 2008 - Charleston, South Carolina) The Gibbes Museum of Art will showcase an exhibition entitled Printmaking in the entrance gallery (Gallery A) from November 14, 2008 through April 26, 2009. Drawn from the Gibbes permanent collection, Printmaking will explore various printmaking processes from the nineteenth century through the present.

Though printmaking technology was developed in China as early as the second century AD, it did not appear in Europe until approximately 1400. Therefore, images were rare in the Western world prior to the fifteenth century, as each one had to be created by hand. Printmaking technology allowed for hundreds or even thousands of images to be created from a single carved block of wood or plate of metal. This revolutionized the distribution of images as printmaking began to flourish in Europe during the fifteenth century.

During the colonial and early national periods, American printmakers primarily utilized the medium to copy paintings and distribute images of historical events, famous battles, and portraits. American interest in the printmaking medium as an independent art form developed during the nineteenth century, led by artists such as John James Audubon, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer and James A. M. Whistler.

The collection of the Gibbes Museum of Art contains over three thousand works on paper, including prints created using a variety of techniques. This exhibition explores the breadth of the print collection, while focusing on the specific printmaking processes used to create the works. To help make connections between technique and the finished product, this installation pairs prints with rarely exhibited plates, blocks, and printmaking tools from the museum archives. Artists in the Printmaking exhibition include Alfred Hutty, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith and James A. M. Whistler.

The Printmaking exhibition is a prelude to the upcoming exhibition in the Rotunda Gallery: The American Scene on Paper: Prints and Drawings from the Schoen Collection. That exhibition will run from December 19 through March 22, 2009 and will feature 50 prints from the era between the Great Depression and World War II.

Established as the Carolina Art Association in 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art opened its doors to the public in 1905 in historic Charleston, S.C. The Gibbes houses one of the foremost collections of American Art from the 18th century to the present. The Gibbes is currently undergoing major renovations and will reopen in the spring of 2016. The renovated museum will properly showcase its extensive collections and will feature an admission-free ground floor, providing a place to watch artists at work in studios and stroll through a world-class garden.

135 Meeting Street | Charleston, SC | 29401