Invented by a German engraver working in Amsterdam in the early 1640s, the mezzotint process flourished first in the Netherlands during the latter years of the seventeenth century, and then more so in England, where a surging middle class sought inexpensive reproductions of portraits, landscapes, and other works by favorite artists. Unlike most other intaglio methods, such as engraving, etching, or drypoint, mezzotint offers, as its name suggests, a rich variety of halftones, thus rendering it ideal for replicating the illusion of three-dimensionality intrinsic to the painting of the day. By the 1750s, the reputation of British mezzotint artists had grown to the point that, on the continent, the technique came to be known as “la manière anglaise”—the English manner.
The prints in this exhibition, all selected from the museum’s permanent collection, represent Dutch and British efforts from the height of mezzotint production in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Additional examples demonstrate the resurgence of the medium during the twentieth century, particularly in the United States, when artists ranging from Joseph Pennell in the early years to Carol Wax, who is still making prints today, revisited the mezzotint as a viable means of creating original works of art.
EXHIBITION RELATED EVENTS
Friday, June 14, 12:10 p.m.
Gallery Talk: La Manière Anglaise: Mezzotints from the Permanent Collection
Patrick McGrady, Charles V. Hallman Curator
Saturday, July 6, 10:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Workshop for Children and Youth: Magnificent Mezzotints and Magical Monoprints
This workshop will give students the opportunity to creatively investigate the exhibition La Manière Anglaise: Mezzotints from the Permanent Collection through a guided treasure hunt. Each participant will then make several monoprints based on their discoveries in the museum, using a reductive method similar to what artists use when creating mezzotints. This fun and exciting process allows students to investigate positive and negative space, consider the role of light, use their imaginations, and learn simple printmaking techniques. Facilitated by artist and art educator Natalia Pilato. Recommended for ages 9–12.
A parent or adult learning partner is encouraged to accompany young attendees; participants should wear appropriate clothing for working with materials. Workshops are free, but participants must preregister by contacting the curator of education at 814-863-9188 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited, so register early!
All gallery talks begin in the galleries unless otherwise noted. A greeter will be available in the lobby to direct visitors to the appropriate gallery for all noontime events. Workshop participants should meet in the lobby. For more information on scheduled events, please call 814-865-7672. The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State is located on Curtin Road and admission is free. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4:00 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and some holidays. Closed Thursday, July 4, 2013.
The Palmer Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
The Chevron Corporation is proud to be the Palmer Museum of Art’s major corporate sponsor.
Children’s and family programs are partially funded by the James E. Hess and Suzanne Scurfield Hess Endowment for Art Education in the Palmer Museum of Art and the Ruth Anne and Ralph Papa Endowment. All other programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art unless otherwise noted.