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The Royal Society of Painters and Printmakers; London

July 10 through September 5, 1998

Curator: Andrew Stasik

This exhibition, curated by Andrew Stasik, the Center’s exhibitions director, will feature a broad range of styles from representational to abstract, and includes a great variety of techniques, including etching, collagraph, drypount, woodcut, color mezzotint an relief engraving on polymer.  The Royal Society, which is based in London, was founded “to promote engraving in all its forms and to revive its exercise as a ‘painter’s’ art,” according to the Society’s literature. It was in protest against the Royal Academy’s “refusal to recognize etching as a creative art.” In 1888 the group had prospered so that Queen Victoria granted a “Royal” appelation to the Society, whose early members included Sir Francis Seymour Heyden, the first president; Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, Walter Sickert and Sir Frank Short, professor of etching at the Royal College of Art.

Wood engravers were admitted for the first time in 1920 and artists like Gwen Raverat, Clare Leighton and Agnes Miller-Parker became members. Other notable members included Dame Laura Knight, F.L. Griggs, Henry Rushbury and Gerald Brockhurst. The Society now has become international in its membership and has elected as fellows a number of “outstanding foreign artists some of whom have lived and worked in the U.K. for many years.” Recent exchange exhibitions have been arranged, the first one in the U.S. was earlier in June at the National Arts Club, New York City. The Society is headquartered at the Bankside Gallery, Blackfriars, London.

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