English Color Prints

Cyril Power, The Tube Staircase, 1929, linocut, 53.6 x 30.3 cm, Eliza S. Paine Fund, 1995.4.

Saturday, May 17 - Sunday, August 10, 2003

Printmaking developed a distinctive English accent as it evolved as the means of supplying inexpensive images to an eager public. Though the artists may be unfamiliar, the subjects of the prints are quintessentially English, and include royalty, castles, and knights, Shakespearean tragedy, verdant landscapes, teeming hedgerows, and nursery rhymes. In the Rococo period, facsimiles of drawings and watercolors were conceived to decorate the sitting room and boudoir. Hilarious caricatures were produced to sell cheaply on the street. The explosion of printmaking techniques in the Victorian period spawned wide-ranging images that reveal a strong, confident culture. In the 20th century, artists returned to handmade prints, even as they explored Cubism and other Modernist styles. The distinction of English art is apparent in this selection of prints, drawn primarily from the Worcester Art Museum's permanent collection. Among the artists represented are George Baxter, Aubrey Beardsley, Walter Crane, Stanley William Hayter, David Hockney and Howard Hodgkin. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Telegram & Gazette.

Select Images from the Exhibition