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The Power of Prints: The Legacy of William M. Ivins and A. Hyatt Mayor

Spira, Freyda with Peter Parshall
192 pages
169 illustrations
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Metropolitan Museum of Art curators William M. Ivins and A. Hyatt Mayor assembled one of the world's greatest collections of prints, from Renaissance masterpieces to popular and ephemeral works. Celebrating the power of prints not only as aesthetic objects but also as rich sociohistorical documents and peerless tools of communication, Ivins and Mayor expanded our appreciation of prints as the most democratic art form: functional, cost-effective works that disseminate information and bring pleasure to a wide audience. Their populist approach—collecting across the full spectrum of the medium, from the exquisite to the everyday, and writing about prints in accessible language—delivered prints from the province of scholars and collectors to the general public and transformed notions of how art reaches the masses.

The first comprehensive exploration of the lives, careers, theories, and influence of Ivins and Mayor, this book also showcases more than 125 exceptional prints that represent the breadth and depth of their acquisitions, including works by Mantegna, Düaut;rer, Callot, Rembrandt, Goya, Whistler, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Cassatt. Included in this volume are biographical essays elucidating the two curators' achievements and catalogue entries that quote Ivins's and Mayor's pithy remarks about the featured artworks. The Power of Prints is a fitting tribute to the groundbreaking work of two scholars who revolutionized the study of a vast area of art history.

Augustus Saint Gaudens II (Saint Gaudens and his Model), Anders Zorn  Swedish, Etching and drypoint?; only state
Nocturne, James McNeill Whistler  American, Etching and drypoint, printed in black ink on heavy cream Japan paper; sixth state of nine (Glasgow)
Self-Portrait Leaning on a Stone Sill, Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn)  Dutch, Etching, drypoint and burin; second state of two
House Tops, Edward Hopper  American, Etching
Plate 56 from "Los Caprichos": To rise and to fall (Subir y bajar), Goya (Francisco de Goya y Lucientes)  Spanish, Etching, burnished aquatint
Mars and Venus, Hendrick Goltzius  Netherlandish, Engraving
Harper's, April, Edward Penfield  American, Lithograph
Mademoiselle Bécat at the Café des Ambassadeurs, Paris, Edgar Degas  French, Lithograph; only state
William M. Ivins, Jr., Gertrude Käsebier  American, Platinum print
ca. 1910
Jan Six, Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn)  Dutch, Etching, drypoint, burin; fifth of five states
Louise Adele Gould, Augustus Saint-Gaudens  American, Marble, American
Arabesque Design on Dark Ground, Virgil Solis  German, Etching and engraving
Design for a Beaker, Bernhard Zan  German, Engraving
De humani corporis fabrica (Of the Structure of the Human Body), Andreas Vesalius  Flemish, Woodcut
Multiple artists/makers
The Risen Christ between Saints Andrew and Longinus, Andrea Mantegna  Italian, Engraving
ca. 1475
Adam and Eve, Albrecht Dürer  German, Engraving
Playscene: Conductor & Orchestra, and Play Murder–The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke, Act 3, Scene 2, Edward Gordon Craig  British, Woodcut on vellum; proof
ca. 1928
Brooklyn Bridge (Mosaic), John Marin  American, Etching; first state of two
The Grand Display of Fireworks and Illuminations at the Opening of the Great Suspension Bridge between New York and Brooklyn on the Evening of May 24, 1883. View from New York Looking towards Brooklyn., Currier & Ives  American, Color lithograph
Athlete, from the Occupations for Women series (N166) for Old Judge and Dogs Head Cigarettes, Goodwin & Company, Commercial color lithograph
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Spira, Freyda, and Peter W. Parshall. 2016. The Power of Prints: The Legacy of William M. Ivins and A. Hyatt Mayor [Exhibition, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, January 26-May 22, 2016]. New York (N. Y.): the Metropolitan museum of art.