The Museum of Art – DeLand Downtown Galleries at 100 N. Woodland Blvd. have reopened with an exhibition of 45 diverse works by some of the premier printmakers of the past 160 years.
“American Prints II,” on loan from Ohio’s Butler Institute of American Art, features works by a veritable who’s who of past and current American artists. Included are pre-eminent names such as James McNeill Whistler (yes, the one who painted his mother), Thomas Hart Benton, Jacob Lawrence, Judy Chicago and Willem de Kooning.
Pattie Pardee, Museum of Art – DeLand executive director, said a common misconception is that prints are simply reproductions of earlier artworks.
“Fine-art printmaking is an artist-driven process that creates a new image on a template from which multiple impressions can then be made,” she said. “Many will remember ‘The Magical World of M.C. Escher’ exhibit at the museum in 2018, which provided an opportunity for visitors to see some of the world’s most-recognized woodprints, lithographs and mezzotints. American Prints II presents a chance to explore the printmaking techniques of other world-renowned artists.”
In addition to examples of classic printmaking techniques such as etching, lithography and silkscreen, the exhibit also includes examples of more contemporary print technologies, as in acclaimed British artist David Hockney’s vibrant 2010 iPad drawing Untitled No. 18.
The museum’s Curator of Art & Exhibitions David Fithian notes, “The common factor in all fine-art printing is that a specific number of prints are made into a published edition. Finished prints are generally signed in pencil by the artist with a signature, title, date and edition number in the form of a fraction such as 10/20. The first is the individual print number, the second indicates the total number of prints in the edition.”
The earliest piece in the exhibition dates to 1864 and is the color nature print Brazilian Hummingbirds II by Martin Johnson Heade, a winter resident of St. Augustine.
Virtually every decade, and every artistic movement that followed, is represented in the exhibition.
“Many of these artists are best known for their large paintings or sculptures,” said Fithian, “but in their printmaking a more intimate experience of their ideas and vision is revealed.”
American Prints II will be on display through Sept. 13. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission costs $5, and is free for children age 12 and younger, for all Volusia County Schools students and Stetson students, and for members of the museum.