Inspiration from the team behind The Art Genome Project at

The Art of Printmaking

The act of printing has always seemed to me a miracle, just such a miracle as the growing up of a tiny seed of grain to an ear—an everyday miracle, even the greater because it happens every day. One drawing is sown on the stone or the etching plate, and a harvest is reaped from it.   

–Vincent van Gogh

In an age when information is copied and shared instantaneously, it is easy to forget that the reproduction and distribution of an artwork, document, or idea was once viewed as miraculous. Printmaking developed as a medium to meet this most human of desires: to document and communicate images and ideas, and disperse them to regions far beyond their origin. A print is created by incising an image into a matrix—a metal plate, a block of wood or a stone—inking the image, and then running it through a press onto a piece of paper. By repeating this process, multiple impressions of the same image can be produced. Before cameras, copy machines and scanners, the reproducibility of prints allowed thinkers and artists to disseminate their work, and over time prints became an art form in their own right.

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