It has been some time since the last update on The Curwen Print Study Centre and the progress made with last year's fundraising efforts. Now, we provide an exciting update on the remarkable achievements they have accomplished.
10 July 2023
To undertake the cataloguing of their collection of prints and documentation, The Curwen Print Study Centre announced the addition of an experienced Fine Art Print expert to their team. Grace Hailstone, who has previously held curatorial roles at Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Slade, and Eames Fine Art. This comprehensive project, including extensive research, will require considerable time before all the information and images can be integrated into The Curwen Print Study Centre's website.
In their aim to make the archive accessible to individuals worldwide, allowing them to explore it conveniently from their homes, educational institutions, or workplaces, The Curwen Print Study Centre also enlisted the services of Matt Smith, who visited the Gallery to professionally photograph their collection. The resulting listings and photographs will serve as the foundation for the online archival database.
An exciting recent discover from their archive is an original linocut titled 'The Queens Garden' by Edward Bawden CBE RA. Notably, it is the first working proof annotated by Bawden himself, given to Stanley Jones for the creation of a lithography edition of 160 copies in 1986. The accompanying notes provide a detailed glimpse into the collaborative process between the artist and master printmaker. This project was among Bawden's final endeavors before his passing in 1989 and was generously donated to the Study Centre by Master Printmaker Stanley Jones.
Grace Hailstone & Edward Bawden Print ’The Queens Garden”
The Curwen Print Study Centre is well underway with the cataloguing process of their archive print collection, which boasts an impressive collection of over 700 lithographs. Despite the progress made, there is still a considerable distance to cover as the team diligently constructs their master database and cross-references materials to gather a comprehensive understanding of each artist's association with Curwen and their body of work. The acquisition of large archive plan chests, made possible by the success of the Make Your Mark campaign, serves as an excellent display space for safely viewing and storing prints. Additionally, new archival boxes have been purchased for items not currently on display, which are being meticulously organized by artist.
Simultaneously, they have initiated the cataloguing of their document archive, an endeavour that provides a fascinating glimpse into the day-to-day operations of the Curwen Studio. This process presents a daily challenge due to the uniqueness of the materials. Diaries and notebooks within the archive contain colour swatches, artist instructions, insights into colour variations, and even desired moods expressed by the artists. Such information offers a rare opportunity to understand the progression of editions and the various stages they underwent before the final versions were produced. As this project unfolds, discussions are being held on how to make this extraordinary resource readily available online for artists, researchers, and anyone interested in the history of printmaking.
During recent archive explorations, a remarkable find emerged—a set of notes from a studio diary dating back to 1966, pertaining to the printing of John Piper's lithograph, ‘Dylwyn Church’ as well as others from his experimental collage and photographic churches series. Notably, one of the entries made by Stanley Jones, entitled ‘Newgate Church’ emphasized the desire for a strong black print with maximum dramatic impact. Jones and Piper collaborated on numerous experimental lithographs during the 1960s and 1970s, employing innovative lithographic techniques that combined mark making, collage, and photography, utilizing both stone and transfer film.
Within the Curwen Archive, a working proof of ‘Dylwyn Church’ exists, showcasing the print before the addition of green in the final edition. It is worth noting that the Tate holds one of the final editions of this artwork in their prints and drawings collection, a gift from Curwen Press in 1975.
Dilwych Church Proof by John Piper less the green colour way.
The Curwen Print Study Centre is excited to offer a unique opportunity to win an original poster printed at Curwen. This poster, which is also held in the Curwen Archive, is an advertisement for an Elisabeth Frink show in 1992. The lucky winner will be notified once the draw takes place.
Not only does this draw provide an exciting chance to own a valuable piece of art, but it also supports the ongoing efforts to catalogue the Curwen Archive.
Tickets for the draw can be purchased for £10 each directly from the Curwen home page at https://www.curwenprintstudy.co.uk/. Make sure to secure your ticket before the draw date on Monday 31 July.
Background information: The poster available for the draw is a rare offset lithographic print measuring 45cm x 63.5cm. It was printed at Curwen in 1992 and features the artwork titled 'Red Dog' by Elisabeth Frink, created in 1990. The poster was published by Bodilly Galleries and had a limited print run, likely due to the smaller size of the gallery in Cambridge.
These achievements are a testament to the dedication, passion, and hard work of the entire Curwen Print Study Centre team, as well as the support and generosity of their donors. Moving forward, Curwen Print Study Centre remains committed to their mission of promoting and preserving fine art prints while continuously seeking new avenues for growth, innovation, and community engagement.
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7 December 2023
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4 December 2023
It is with great pleasure that we announce that Emma Barnett has been appointed as Head of Department with responsibility for the future development of our Homes and Interiors sales – Emma has been with Sworders for some time, but as she now moves into this pivotal role, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce her to you.
30 November 2023