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During their first century of existence in the fifteenth century, prints were essentially limited by the size and shape of single sheets of paper as well as by the size of a standard press. Yet in the new sixteenth century, a variety of impulses led to the expansion of printed imagery beyond these confining boundaries. Ambitions to rival painted images and to adorn wall surfaces prompted print ensembles to expand, either horizontally into frieze sequences like carved reliefs, or in both directions like murals or tapestries. They achieved these effects by adding coordinated sheets, at first mainly woodcuts but then increasingly engravings, to build single images. Guest curated by Larry Silver, Farquhar Professor of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania, this exhibition will be shown at the Davis Museum and at two other venues. Except for an exhibition of giant woodcuts in the 1970s, this will be the first exhibition in more than 100 years to explore this genre in printmaking by some of the most important artists and printmakers of their day.
Former Curator of Prints and Drawings