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Exploring Print History

To mark the launch of the digital resource “Sylvester Koehler: Exploring Print History,” the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, will host a virtual symposium on Friday, May 3, 2024 from 10am-noon (EST).
In 1892, Sylvester Rosa Koehler (b. 1837– d. 1900), the MFA’s first curator of prints and drawings, organized the “Exhibition Illustrating the Technical Methods of the Reproductive Arts from the 15th Century to the Present Time, with Special Reference to the Photo-Mechanical Processes.” This landmark MFA exhibition included more than 700 works that traced the history and technology of printing in Europe and the United States. “Sylvester Koehler: Exploring Print History” ( resurrects the exhibition and its catalogue, making them accessible in today’s digital age. Resources related to the show—and Koehler’s work more broadly—are available together online for the first time, anchored by an interactive version of the catalogue with links to database records of objects Koehler used (or may have used) in the original exhibition
The symposium aims to bring together a wide range of students, academics, historians, artists, and museum professionals from around the world to exchange ideas and research related to newly accessible material featured in the 1892 exhibition.
You are invited to submit a proposal for a brief virtual presentation (5-10 minutes) on past, current, or future research, or artistic practice linked to works, firms, artists, or printmaking processes featured in the 1892 exhibition. Please submit a 100-150 word proposal to by Friday, March 1, 2024. Selected presenters will be notified by Friday, March 8, 2024.
Invited presenters will receive an honorarium of $300.
The MFA’s collections of prints, drawings, and photographs, are available to view by appointment in the Morse Study Room.

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