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This poster for the exhibition “Impressions/Expressions: Black American Graphics” bears the title at top, with credit information below. A brightly colored image draws the eye at the center of the poster, a lithograph by the artist Margo Humphrey. A border of purple, red, and orange surrounds an abstracted scene, with a bright blue sky. A large yellow tiger, sketchily drawn, bears its teeth at the bottom of the frame, while a pair of figures float above, in embrace. Surrounding these figures, chili peppers, bananas, moons, and stars seem to rain from above,
First Impressions/Expressions Count
In October of 1979, an exhibition entitled Impressions/Expressions: Black American Graphics opened at the Studio Museum in Harlem. The show, associated with the second annual “Survival of the Black Artist” Fine Arts Festival, later traveled to Howard University—alma mater of the exhibition’s 26 year-old curator, Richard J. Powell.[1] The first survey of its kind, Impressions/Expressions...
Image features a drawing in pen and brown ink, bistre wash, and charcoal on laid paper. Five men are seated astride crocodiles. Two of the crocodiles are in the Nile and three of them are at the bank on the left. Two more heads of crocodiles emerge from the water. One spectator stands at left under a tree. More people are shown on the other bank. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Crocodile Hunt
How to catch a crocodile? In this drawing, the Flemish artist Jan van der Straet, called Stradanus (1523 —1605) shows us one particularly bold method. Hunters sit astride their prey, forcing long sticks between the crocodiles’ snapping jaws; companions armed with clubs wait nearby, ready to bludgeon the overpowered reptiles. The image isn’t based on...
Image features a woman standing next to a tree blooming with golden apples and a pond with a white swan. Holding a fruit in her hand, the woman is pictured from the side wearing a checked day dress, matching cape, and feather plumed hat. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Fashioning Desire
George Barbier’s Au Jardin des Hespérides (Garden of the Hesperides) appeared in 1913 in Gazette du Bon Ton. Translated as the “Journal for Good Taste,” it was intended for an elite readership concerned with high-society culture and entertainment, as well as the latest developments in fashion and beauty. The publication was led by the publishing...
Image features a half-length figure of a knight in armor. The drawing appeared as an illustration in "Le Morte D'Arthur" (The Death of Arthur). Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Defiant Knight
The publisher J.M. Dent was an admirer of William Morris’s Kelmscott Press, founded in 1889 and known for expensive, lavish publications featuring illustrations and decorations by artists such as Edward Burne-Jones printed from hand-cut woodblocks. Dent conceived the idea of producing books in the style of the Kelmscott Press but at a much lower cost,...
Leaving His Mark
In 1879 James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) was commissioned by the Fine Art Society to produce twelve etchings of Venice, Italy with the expectation the series would be completed by Christmas and sold in London. Provided with a stipend for his expenses Whistler arrived in Venice in September 1879 and remained in Italy until November 1880,...
The Four Horsemen
Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528) is commonly regarded as one of the greatest artists of the Northern Renaissance. He trained under his father, a goldsmith, and later with Michel Wolgemut, a well-known printmaker and publisher. One of Dürer’s most prominent works is The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse dated ca. 1497-98, a woodcut print that depicts...
Students Create Unique Prints with Sena Yang
Celebrated fashion designer Sena Yang, creator of her namesake line SENA, led a two-session fashion workshop at Cooper-Hewitt for high-school students. The workshop was an exciting opportunity for students to create original prints and a concept for a collection based on their own designs.   Sena started the workshop with a bang when she shared...
The World According to Paula Scher
We’re excited about Paula Scher’s limited-edition print of The World as part of Cooper-Hewitt’s Limited Editions in Design program. Released by our friends at 20×200 and based on her gorgeous maps series—these prints are now available! Cooper-Hewitt has honored Paula as a National Design Award Communications Design Finalist. One third of the proceeds from the...
Positively Prints
Members were treated to a “Curator’s Breakfast” – a preview of the IFPDA Print Fair – with Cooper-Hewitt’s Dr. Gail Davidson, Curator and Head of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department. Among the many stops, the group visited Carl Solway Gallery with printed works by John Cage, Gallerie St. Etienne for wood-cut prints, The...