Wabash to Display 19th Century Prints in Art Openingby Karen Handley • January 18, 2006
The Wabash College Art Department announces the opening of an exhibition, 19th Century Prints, on Monday, January 23 and continues through March 1.
The exhibit features a collection of 19th century prints from the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Department of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Focused on the theme of Romanticism, the show highlights art by the movement’s best-known European and American representatives, including Francisco Goya, Eugene Delacroix, William Blake, Joseph Mallord William Turner, John Constable, Thomas Cole, and Frederic Edwin Church.
The works of art on view in the gallery are neither paintings nor drawings, but prints. Generally speaking, printmaking involves the transfer of ink from a printing surface to paper. Some of the prints in the exhibit are made using the technique of intaglio, in which a tool is used to scratch a design onto a metal plate before inking it. Others represent a technique called etching in which acid eats away the exposed part of a plate where the artist has drawn through an acid-resistant coating. As works on paper, prints are sensitive to light, which is why the gallery is kept so dim. One advantage to printmaking is that each image is typically produced in a series, meaning that multiple copies exist (not usually the case with a painting). This has made them cheaper to produce and thus has helped to broaden art’s socio-economic range of consumers. Printmaking dates to 15th-century Europe and was an especially popular art form in Edo-period Japan; it continues to be used by artists today.
Wabash College art department professors Greg Huebner and Elizabeth Lee worked with IMA curator Martin Krause to select the exhibition’s prints, which will be studied by students this semester in Professor Lee’s 19th Century Art class and during the Industrial Revolution module for Cultures & Traditions, a required class for all sophomores.
Opening reception is from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, January 23 in the Eric Dean Gallery in the Fine Arts Center at Wabash College. The event is free and open to the public. The hours for the Eric Dean Gallery are Monday through Friday 9-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10-2 p.m.