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Themes and Variations: Topics from Print Council of America --- Art and the Pull of Print; A Conversation

Thursday, October 28th, 2021

12:00PM ET

How might we more fully consider the physical operations of printmaking as contributing to the conceptual, metaphorical, and visceral implications of prints as works of art?

Jennifer Roberts will provide an overview of her recent A.W. Mellon lectures Contact: Art and the Pull of Print (see link to recordings below) and then will discuss, with Raftery and Adamson, the ideas set forth in the lectures.

What would it mean to consider contact rather than reproduction as the essence of print? To argue that printmaking drives, rather than derives from, innovation in other media? To imagine that the processes of printmaking, its nuanced way of facing up to the factual, encourage a way of seeing the world that is urgently needed today?

Attendees are encouraged to watch Roberts’ lectures in advance, but this will not be necessary to engage in the program.

Link to recorded lectures:

Jennifer L. Roberts is the Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. She is a scholar of American and British art from the 18th century to the present day. Her work approaches the history of art through its intersections with print history, material studies, the theory and practice of making, and the history and philosophy of science.

Moderated by Shelley R. Langdale, Curator and Head of Modern Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Art.

Glenn Adamson is a curator and writer who works at the intersection of craft, design history and
contemporary art. He has previously been Director of the Museum of Arts and Design; Head of
Research at the V & A; and Curator at the Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee. His most recent book is Craft: An American History, published by Bloomsbury in 2021.

Andrew Raftery is an artist specializing in both fictional and autobiographical narrative scenes of
contemporary American life. Known for his paintings, burin engravings and drawings, Raftery has developed a particular interest in prints for their ubiquitous role in our world: on wallpaper, clothing, and functional objects. His artistic practice is heavily research-based as a curator and collector, and it is both personal and objective, a constant self-reflection informed by historical research on the democratization of mediums.

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