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In the Center of it All: 90 Years of the Prairie Print Makers

This December 28, 2020 will be the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Prairie Print Makers, a democratically-minded organization established “to further the interests of both artists and laymen in print making and collecting.” Ten active printmakers and one art dealer gathered at the Lindsborg studio of Birger Sandzén (1871-1954) to plan out an exhibition society that would also offer a gift print commissioned from well-known printmakers to subscribing members. These "Associate" members paid $5 annual dues, and "Active" artist members paid $1 dues to participate in the traveling print exhibitions. "Honorary" memberships were occasionally bestowed. The exhibitions' academic year schedules quickly filled for venues from Honolulu, Hawaii; to Fort Worth, Texas; to Rochester, New York, as well as providing art experiences for many underserved, small communities in the Midwest. The Prairie Print Makers continued to show and share affordable fine art prints until disbanding in 1966, never having raised their fees and attracting more than a hundred American, Canadian, and United Kingdom printmakers to the roster through the years.

In this exhibition organized from the Sandzén Gallery's permanent collection, 61 of 101 known Prairie Print Maker artists are represented via 112 prints in a variety of techniques. An accompanying, 32-page catalogue is available, underwritten by the Barton P. and Mary D. Cohen Charitable Trust.
Relevant research areas: 20th Century

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