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CFP: Collaborative Printmaking Across Cultures and Times

CFP: Collaborative Printmaking Across Cultures and Times
Association of Print Scholars session at CAA 2017
Chaired by Jasper van Putten, Harvard University
Deadline for submissions: March 31, 2016

Printmaking, from its earliest to its most recent expressions, has generally been characterized by collaboration. This panel explores the impact of collaboration on the artistic practice of printmaking across various cultures and times. In the West, renaissance printmaking was characterized by divisions of labor that designated specific tasks of professionals. Designers, woodcutters, engravers, printers, and publishers indicated their respective role on the prints they helped produce with designations such as invenit [invented], delineavit [traced/delineated], or excudit [printed/published]. The production of Japanese woodcuts in the nineteenth century was similarly defined by collaboration and specialization. Generally, publishers commissioned drawings from artists, which were transferred to wood, cut, and printed by specialized craftsmen on behalf of the publisher. Collaboration also characterized much of the printmaking in the modern period, despite the emphasis on artistic individuality in this time. Artists like Édouard Manet, Pablo Picasso, and Robert Rauschenberg produced some of their most celebrated prints in collaboration with master printmakers. More recently, digital social networks have opened up completely new venues for artistic collaboration. As technology has made sharing of images and ideas faster and easier than ever before, it stands to reason that artistic collaboration also changes.

Scholars have studied the more famous collaborations in the history of printmaking in great detail. Still, the impact of collaboration on artistic practice is often overlooked. Blockbuster shows especially tend to focus on famous artists and neglect the vital contributions of other individuals. How did the contributions of craftsmen, patrons, publishers, and agents impact the prints they helped produce and disseminate? How was their relative input valued and remunerated? To what extent can we interpret prints as the products of networks of different makers? Answers to such questions will differ from time to time and from place to place. This panel seeks to further our understanding of collaborative printmaking by seeking submissions engaging these issues from any culture and era. Side-by-side, these papers will highlight commonalities and differences with the aim to obtain unexpected insights. Especially welcome are contributions that make use of network theory to account for the total range of actors involved in collaborations. Also of special interest are papers that engage the role of digital tools and social networks in facilitating collaborations in contemporary printmaking.

Please send an abstract of 250 words or less and a CV to Jasper van Putten ( and by March 31, 2016.


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