Printmaking: Art and Written Word
Apr 22, 2023 - Dec 30, 2023
Discover five-hundred years of European history and art tucked into these rare books and prints, on view in Villa Philbrook’s original library. Written in six languages, the volumes reflect spirituality, culture, and academic thought from Martin Luther and the Reformation to the delights of the Italian courts. The images on view do more than illustrate stories—they reference ideas and art movements prevalent from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries.
The materials presented in this exhibition track the history of the printing press—from woodcuts to engraving and etching—and tell the tale of how its invention, circa 1440 in Germany, democratized art collecting. While at the time only a few could afford a painting by Rembrandt, suddenly many more were able to purchase illustrated books as well as prints.
The rare books in this exhibition are part of Philbrook’s H.A. & Mary K. Chapman Library Special Collections, while the volumes you may explore on open shelves are part of the Library’s general reference collection. The artworks on view are drawn from Philbrook’s permanent collection.