The ” Fine Points of Collecting Original Prints ”

 The ” Fine Points of Collecting  Original Prints “

Collecting ”  Fine  Prints ” or often called ” Original Prints ” can be a most rewarding hobby , passion and adventure of any kind , if you follow some basic rules .

First I always suggest you tour the Galleries , Museums and great selection of art books at the local Library , book stores
to see what is appealing to your own taste . I was fortunate  I purchased my first work of art with a Goya etching at 15 that started this ” Life Time Love affair ” A great marriage of  my love for both History and Art . I had attended class trips , became the ” Art Teachers Pet ” as a young teenager and was fortunate by a very dear soul , Dick Fluke at 15 , whom became my mentor . As a beginner myself , I was admazed that there were still opportunity to buy a original etching by Francisco Goya with the funds from a after school job in High School . That work is still with me and yes was my first love . What was a 165.00 investment ( months wages ) at the time is a pricess part of my life and the joy of owning and living with a great work of art .

Just the thought of owning a fine work of art , that is a multi original work (often called etching ,  original graphic,fine print ) and the fact these are found in all major Art Museums and Public collections whorld wide is among one of the pride many collector  experience in collecting fine art .Today as I have for many years still have that thrill when i am researching a Fine Print and find a duplicate impression item is in the Collection of the Tate , British Museum , Louvre , Rijksmuseum, National gallery or any others of scores fine Art Museum Prints Collection .

Today with the Internet , most prints collections can be located on line and with the Inter Net .  We can see other impressions of the same work , some time in various states ( stages of the completion of that image ) , Catalogue reference ( documentation  of the work , record with all the data you need to help to decide if the work is a original print ).

The catalog of the Artist works  , often  referred  as Catalogue Resumes , are the” Holy Grail” of good solid Art research of most Print makers . Contemporary works there are much lesser catalogue’s to find for use . The catalog  on the Old Masters are great works , by Barsch , Hollstein and Others . many of these Scholars spent a life time in the study and research of a paticular artist or period .In the case of rembrandt , Boon – White are great to also list works etched by Rembrandt Students , many good print makers themselves .Among on was Jan Van Vliet  .

Works after The Old masters are worth collecting and appreciation . It was the custom with Old Masters Print Makers many works were engraved after the Masters works are indeed valuable when view as works” after ” ,” in the manner or school of “.

Many Early engravers were and still respected as some very great engravers . In some cases where  some of the Old Masters Painters never touch a engraving tool , often employes noted engravers of the day to engraved the works.

Often the engraved works became the marketing tool that promoted the reputation of the artist and his work . Keep in mind , the three best know engraved series of Durer were in fact issues as bound volumes  , published with Latin text and sold in 1511  at street fairs .

Others Artist published both singular works and Suites or series of etched works . Among my favorite etcher , Jacques Callot issues several portfolios work of etchings conmissioned by the leading Patron including the Medici’s of Italy .Today singular work and a few complete sets can still be obtained .

In the 18 century bound portfolios by  after Lorain , Drawing books as some were called by Stubbs and Howlet were published and many l portfolios of Birds were published , It was the custom for any educated European or Britshish gental to own and appreciate these . Many Sets of Views of rome became ” A Must Have ”  for any one returning from the Grand Tour ” ,

The Print Revivals of the 19 Centuries in Europe and America , many works would be published in out standing art Publications and Gallery (Salon ) Exhibition such as GAZETTE-DES-BEAUX-ARTS , the best know for the engraved works of Manet , Renior , Daubigny , Cezanne and others ,

American Art review featuring some wonderful etched work by The Morans , Thomas , Mary and Peter , Mary Cassatt , Stephen Parris ,John Henry Hill , James Smillie . The American Art Union , shorter live buy very fine works were issues to incourage the middle class to collect fine work of art .

In  England the works published by two volumes of ETCHING  and ETCHERS  , produces some fine images by Palmer , Whistler , Haden, Jongkind ,Legro and several others . He also own and printed with great care fine impressions of several Old Masters for his published works of art , by Callet , Du Jardin , Waterloo ,and  fine quality impressions of The Beggars by Rembrandt . The Art Journal was a leading Publication also among others were used to illustrated poetry and similar works .

All of the published took great care of printing the works with great care and high quality of printing the copper plates . Most of these publications were relatively small and most scholars agree less tha 500 sets in any publication . ver the years these volume has be broken up and sold as singlular prints .In most cases a good thing , Due t the nature of the contents of the pagesof texh between the print many become foxed or discolored from the acid in the paper again the pint etching printed with rag laid paper .

The 20  Century was not ignores . many works were be published by Publishers of XXe Siecle (Chroniques du Jour) was a deluxe art revue that was the source of many outstanding prints. It was published by Gualtieri di San Lazzaro from 1938-1939, and again from 1951 until 1978 (known as the Nouvelle Serie).

Many important artists contributed original prints, including Miro, Picasso, Chagall, Braque, Villon, Matta, Indiana, Rosenquist, Lam, Dali, Zao Wou-ki, Matisse, Delaunay, Ernst, Poliakoff, Soulages, Leger, Moore, Kandinsky, Agam, Arp, Calder, Magnelli, Baj, Marini and Vasarely.
Other included le soil, Mourlot Press , published many works by Picasso, Chagall , Miro to mention a few .

In America there were a surge of enterprises  that published and promoted ” Print Collecting ” Such as Ferninand Roten Galleries , they travel to many Colleges and Art Fairs  in  the mid Centuryy and sold prints to Students , Professors and collecting Public . I was fortunate to have meet both of the founders .( I purchased  a Goya from them for  $18.00 in the early 1970’s They even offered a payment plan ) . The Noted Vincent Prices worked with several department stores , including Marshall Fiedls and sear with the Vincent Price Collection . They offered many fine Original works by both the Old and Modern Masters . Several New York Galleries like Kennedys and Associated American Arts sold Fine Prints ( encouraged many Fine American Prints by  Benton, Curry perhaps the best known . At There I purchased Whistler “Tiny Pool for a 20 dollar bill.
There were N. Y. C. (New York Collectors Club )  that encourage Modern prints by Dali, Picasso ,Chagall an others .More recent in the past 40 years many Print Clubs offers Print fairs , both in the United States and Europe .
Due to these and others Fine Print Dealers and Publishers , there is  a vast  selection of Fine-Original Prints to choose from at at may prices to fit into any taste and budget.

James Stow & Anthony Yau

Candlewood Yankee Fine Arts


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