OHIO UNIVERSITY EXHIBITION FEATURES
FAMOUS AMERICAN PRINTS

4/1/99
Contact: Professor Emeritus of Art Donald Roberts, (740) 593-5498
The Old Print Shop co-owner Robert Newman, (212) 683-3950

Attention editors: At the end of this news release is a list of prints from the exhibition that can be downloaded from the Web.

ATHENS, Ohio -- Many of early America's most legendary and influential prints are coming to Ohio University in April for a two-month exhibition courtesy of a famous New York City gallery owned by the family of a university alumnus.

Seventy prints exploring the development of printmaking in America from the late 18th century to World War II will be displayed at Ohio University's Kennedy Museum of Art from April 17 through June 20. The exhibition provides a rare chance to see a rich cross section of American printmaking styles that reflect everything from rugged landscapes to famous battles, said Robert Newman, a printmaking graduate of Ohio University and third-generation owner of The Old Print Shop. The visiting prints are part of the 101-year-old gallery's collection, which attracts buyers and collectors of prints from throughout the world.

"These are great landmark images of America," said Newman, who also is participating in an Ohio University panel discussion on printmaking in May. "They are major works of art that were important during their time. I'm proud to be able to bring them to my alma mater."

Glimpses of American life in the collection include images of George Washington with the seals of the original 13 colonies, farming in the 1800s, views of New York City, as well as winter scenes and riverfronts.

Some of the prints in the collection were produced by European artists who emigrated to the United States after the 1820s and helped shape the style of prints produced in the 19th century. Famed American and European-born printmakers highlighted in the collection include Currier and Ives, Robert Havell, George Bingham, Childe Hassam, Joseph Pennell and John Sloan.

What makes the exhibition more special is that these artists reflect printmaking during a time period that is not represented in Ohio University's own collection of 1,600 prints, said Professor Emeritus of Art Donald Roberts.

"Most of the university's prints are from the late 20th century," said Roberts, who has been working with Newman for several years to bring the collection to Athens. "This is a rare chance to focus on the period of early America and to see how printmaking reflected the culture of the time."

Printmaking is an ancient art that dates to the Chinese development of papermaking in A.D. 200. It involves the creation of a master plate -- made from stone, wood, metal or a similar material -- from which multiple images are made. The artist prepares the printing plate by cutting, etching or drawing an image onto it. Ink is applied to the plate in a variety of ways, and paper or other material is pressed onto the plate either by hand or by a manual printing press. The result is an image on paper.

Various methods of printmaking will be represented in the Ohio University exhibition. Featured techniques include woodcutting, which involves carving a design into a wooden block; engraving, in which a design is manually cut into a metal plate; etching, a process through which an image is chemically produced on a metal plate with an acid solution; and lithography, in which a design is drawn with a greasy medium on a flat surface and treated with nitric acid and gum arabic.

As part of the exhibition, Newman will participate in a panel discussion about printmaking in America at 3:30 p.m. May 13 in The Ridges Auditorium. The panel discussion and the reception following are free and open to the public. Other panelists are Roberts and Professor of Art Mary Manusos of the Printmaking Department.

Kennedy Museum of Art hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; noon to 8 p.m. Thursdays; and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Attention editors: For a quick view of the prints, visit http://www.cats.ohiou.edu/news/pix/web/ and select the appropriate file name.
To download the black-and-white images from the Web, go to:
"Planting" by Thomas Hart Benton (lithograph, 1939) at http://www.ohio.edu/news/pix/BENTON.JPG
"A Cold Morning" by Currier and Ives (lithograph, 1864) at http://www.ohio.edu/news/pix/CURRIER.JPG
"Chicago Snowstorm" by Charles Turzak (woodcut, 1934) at http://www.ohio.edu/news/pix/TURZAK.JPG
"Snowstorm in the Village" by John Sloan (etching, 1925) at http://www.ohio.edu/news/pix/SLOAN.JPG

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