What’s Going on at the Museum
Explore the Museum of Printing on September 29
Come print with us on Saturday, September 29th!
Explore the Museum of Printing at our family-friendly Essex National Heritage Area Trails & Sails event!
Cast your name in metal type and take a turn cranking a Vandercook press to make a print all your own. You’ll take home a keepsake and a story to share with friends and family. And be sure to tour the Museum while you’re here!
“Making Orders: Dwiggins and the Paper Mills, 1912–1936”: A Lecture by Bruce Kennett
Saturday, October 13th, at 1:30 p.m.
W. A. Dwiggins (1880–1956) spent the latter decades of his life designing printing types, making books, and creating puppets and plays for his private marionette theater. However, in an earlier period of about twenty-five years, he produced a substantial body of work for a long list of paper mills and merchants, most of which were located in the Northeast. These advertisements and sample books exhibited Dwiggins’s manifold skills as a calligrapher, illustrator, colorist, maker of patterns, and writer. He was not only one of the first writers to use the term “graphic design” — he was also a pioneer in drawing what we now call infographics. But there’s another important aspect of the work: Always a teacher at heart, WAD saw these pieces as a means of guiding printers and designers toward best practices in printing illustrations and using color in unexpected ways.
Bruce will present to us a broad selection of Dwiggins’s projects from this fertile quarter-century, drawing from the Museum of Printing’s own holdings, from the Boston Public Library, from his own private collection, and from the archives of S. D. Warren and Strathmore, McGill University, and Letterform Archive. PLEASE JOIN US ON OCTOBER 13th for a rollicking journey across this multi-colored landscape.
“Ansel Adams, Environmentalist and Photographer”: A Slide Lecture by Lance Hidy
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Free and open to the public
Photographer Ansel Adams (1902–1984) devoted his life to sharing the transformative power of wilderness through his art, and to leading the environmental movement. Speaker Lance Hidy was chosen by Adams to collaborate on the final book of his career, Yosemite and the Range of Light (1979). Hidy continues to design the official Ansel Adams books for the Ansel Adams Trust and publisher Little, Brown & Company. Through his first-hand experience, Hidy brings a personal perspective to the Ansel Adams story.
In his lifetime Adams shot over 40,000 photographs; he produced several dozen books that have sold over a million copies; he cofounded the first museum department of photography at the Museum of Modern Art; and, for nearly 40 years he was a leader in the Sierra Club. The lecture is enlivened by quotes from Adams’ autobiography, and by dozens of his finest photographs.
Letterpress Printing on Fabric Workshop with Mitchel Ahern
Saturday, October 27th, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
This one-day workshop covers a broad range of materials and techniques for letterpress printing on fabric. Varieties and behaviors of inks will be discussed along with various impression techniques: the barren, the hammer, body-weight, roller press, sleigh press, hand press and others. Working in color and registration will also be reviewed. Students will print their own work on flour-sack dish towels (provided). Any participants who practice linoleum block cutting are urged to bring some of their designs for printing.
Instructor Mitchel Ahern has relief printed on fabric for forty years and exhibited (and performed) his print works at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Figment festivals, the Lowell Folk Festival and many area galleries and performance venues. He will bring many examples of his own letterpress on fabric work, including dishtowels, canvases, and both horizontal and vertical large-format scrolls.
The workshop has been filled.
- Sat 15
- Basic Letterpress Workshop
- Sat 22
- PRINTING ARTS FAIR & Smithsonian Magazine’s “Museum Day Live”
- Sat 29
- Trails & Sails — Explore the Museum!
The Inland Printer: A Selection of Historic Covers
If you follow the Museum of Printing on social media, then you know we’re smitten with The Inland Printer, the first American trade magazine for the printing industry dating back to 1883. So smitten, in fact, that we have compiled a 274 page book of some of our favorite covers!
Just back from the binders (thank you Superior Packaging!), the publication is titled The Inland Printer: A Selection of Historic Covers, with an introduction by Museum President and Professor Emeritus, Frank Romano. All covers are pictured in full color and arranged chronologically. The softcover book measures 5½″ × 8½″.
Featured are many important artists and designers who contributed to the magazine, including early creations by young American illustrator and artist William H. Bradley, whose work marked the beginnings of Art Nouveau in graphic design.
Jim Hamilton runs our Twitter account (@MoPrinting). He’s also a soccer fan. So he came up with the idea of a series of printing history milestones in the countries participating in the tournament. What started out as a light-hearted Twitter exercise to promote historical figures like John Baskerville and Alois Senefelder took a serious turn as he uncovered printing’s ties to religion, colonialism, war, slavery, revolution, and censorship. On the other hand, he made some nice connections with printing museums around the world. And if you’ve misplaced your incunabula, well, you just might get a clue to their whereabouts in Jim’s World Cup (of Printing History).
Awesome wood type
This font, beautiful in its size, color and simplicity, is on display in our art gallery. The Museum is fortunate to hold an extensive wood type collection that has been acquired over many years, including several sizable and relatively recent donations of significance. Stay tuned for future posts. . . .
The Beautiful Work of Mark T. Fowler
Come on, spring! These two relief prints by artist Mark T. Fowler (1928–2006) evoke the bright greens of spring and the strong winds of March. The colorful ‘Morning Light,’ 1993, is a multiple-block linocut print. ‘Pinus Strobus,’ 1984, is a linocut print as well. A book designer by profession, Mark Fowler never sought to promote or commercialize his art, instead sharing it only with close friends and family, creating just one piece a year for nearly five decades. An extensive collection of his work is on permanent display in our art gallery and you’ll find fine quality digital reproduction cards and prints in the gift shop. Stop by any Saturday, we’d love to see you!
Download our Letterpress Presses poster (pdf, 1.8 MB)
Download our Image Carrier Poster (pdf, 684 KB)
Programs are supported in part by grants from the Haverhill, Georgetown, Merrimac, Boxford and West Newbury Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.Top ↑