Identifying prints

When creating metadata, we pay particular attention to the format of the material being described. Identifying postcards and photographs is fairly straightforward, but determining the differences between the various types of intaglio and relief prints has proved to be quite challenging. So we invited Barbara Duval and Elizabeth Stephenson from the College of Charleston’s Department of Studio Art to give an informal instructional session on identifying different types of prints. Their tips were incredibly helpful. For example, we learned that the presence of a plate mark or embossing indicates that the print is an etching or engraving not a lithograph. And prints that have a pitted or grainy quality were likely created using a method of intaglio printing called aquatint. Additionally, Barbara and Elizabeth recommended several publications to consult as needed: How Prints Look by William Ivins, Jr. and How to Identify Prints by Bamber Gascoigne.

Steph, Will, Barbara, Elizabeth, and Amber

In other news, the Lowcountry Digital Library is in the final stages of building a new digital repository. We hope to have about 1,000 more images from the Rosenthall collection available in a new user-friendly digital library by the end of March!

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