A special edition newsletter has been produced in honor of The Boston Printmakers’ 70th anniversary year, and comes with a wonderful surprise. Each member and associate of our organization will receive a Presentation Print, a time-honored gift of a print from a member.
The practice began in the 1950s and became an annual custom during the first decade of The Printmakers, and the print represented the enthusiasm of the young organization. For the expanding membership it served as a way for artists to get to know each other. The Presentation Print was also an award of distinction for the artist chosen to make an edition of prints to be distributed, and the practice brought members together.
The 70th Anniversary Presentation Print is a collaboration between Nomi Silverman, a member from Greenwich, Conn., and past president and master printer Carolyn Muskat. Carolyn revived the idea of the commemorative print and volunteered to create an edition of 375 lithographs at Muskat Studios. Nomi placed her name into a lottery of 20+ members, each willing to donate their time and effort if selected. The result is a richly developed lithograph that is both poignant and powerful. Typical of Nomi’s work, the image reflects the times in which we live, and shows how printmaking can signify the human concerns that mark our lives.
This special issue also contains a reprinting of some articles that summarize who we are and what we do. Alex Gerasev, the board member who designs our exhibition catalogs and cards, has longed to revive the “printed” newsletter. Alex was the newsletter designer for many years and convinced the board to once again print words and images on paper, hoping the membership would enjoy having something in their hands again and possibly to keep.
The centerfold is a pullout schedule of the multi-city print symposium that will accompany this year’s North American Print Biennial. The Biennial and The Boston Printmakers Student Exhibition are our most prominent events held biannually, and this anniversary year we added a full day of printmaking events throughout Boston and Cambridge to expand the celebration. The symposium will demonstrate the support that we receive from the Boston-Cambridge arts community. To honor this venerable organization, The Boston Printmakers: 70 Years brings together all our past – and some new – collaborators who will open their doors with exhibitions and tours on Saturday, March 3, 2018. The event is free and open to the public.
In closing this anniversary message, I compiled a series of words from David Acton’s catalog essay to remember our beginnings, where we are today, and our hopes for the future:
“In 1947 a group of student printmakers in Boston came together to share information and investigate exhibition opportunities. They enlisted the support of faculty sponsors [from] Massachusetts College of Art, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and Arthur Heinzelman, the keeper of prints at the Boston Public Library…. In 1948, the Boston Printmakers mounted their first exhibition in downtown Boston…. Soon the organization and its shows were among the leading venues for academic printmaking. They attracted artists who undertook every phase of the creative process themselves. Many had been teachers who valued talent and virtuosity above fashionable taste. Moderation accompanied a principled democracy and the exhibitions remained open to all and judged by peers. The Boston Printmakers’ Annual Exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts were among the most prestigious print shows of the 1950s and 1960s. [The content of the publication,] 60 Years of North American Prints celebrates the role of the Boston Printmakers in establishing its place in the art world during a dynamic period of American art. Furthermore, its lively membership assures a distinguished future for the organization through its ambitious projects and ever-widening sphere of influence.”
In celebration of this milestone, I would like to recognize the membership, for their high level of participation in our exhibitions and programs throughout the years. Members keep this organization vibrant and forward moving, and I want to wholeheartedly thank you each one of them.