Print Culture 1700–1914 (from William Hogarth to Peter Behrens)





Printmaking techniques have been used in Europe since the 14th–15th century, but it was not until the 18th century, the age of Hogarth, that they became a mass medium linked to urbanization, the expansion of technology, and modern systems of production and distribution. This course will examine the role that prints played in spreading ideas, images, and styles throughout Europe and North America during that period. As such, prints and books will be studied not merely as objects (although sometimes very accomplished and beautiful in themselves) but as a medium—literally, a material or form through which concepts are communicated. The course will focus on certain individual designers and printmakers, but equal attention will be paid to anonymous craftsmen, pattern books, and broader stylistic movements that depended on prints for their popularity and influence. Although some attention will be paid to texts and the relationship between word and image, the primary aim of the course is to explore the impact and meaning of printed images. It is intended that some classes be held in the New York Public and/or Morgan Libraries. 3 credits.