One of the best public engagement experiences I’ve had since joining the staff at UCL has been curating this small pop-up exhibition for the Art Museum.
Andrea Friedericksen and Subhadra Das made the process so easy – I came up with a concept – non-anatomical fugitive sheets (illustrations removed from, or intended to be included in books) – and we picked ten prints and drawings from the UCL Art Collections that met the brief.
It was important that the exhibition took place the day after our first Historical Bibliography class, and that by attending the exhibition students had a chance to see different print techniques – especially woodcuts, lithographs and engravings. Two prints I really appreciated being able to share were a proof for an illustration for Roger’s poetry, on which the master printer had written pencil directions which we could see had been carried out in the final print. Students and other visitors had fun with magnifying glasses seeing that the trees had been burnished according to the printer’s directions, and that light and that the masonry of the pediments on the building had been made clearer, just as he instructed.
It was also useful to be able to show drawings based on prints – especially some of Durer’s portraits, which had been copied to include even the windows he often included in the eyes of his subjects. So often new bibliographers can fall into the trap of thinking that the final, print version is the end of the story, wheras in fact printing is just the start of the lifecycle of the book or print.
Image: UCL Art Museum e-flyer.
This post was written and posted on 25 October 2011.