Rediscovering Color in German Graphic Art, 1487–1600

2013-logoThe American Printing History Association’s 38th Annual Conference concludes today. One of the highlights of the presentations yesterday at the Grolier Club in New York City was the paper by Dr. Elizabeth Upper, Munby Fellow in Bibliography at Cambridge University Library 2012-13.

The day began with her presentation entitled “Rediscovering Color in German Graphic Art, 1487–1600,” and left many quickly rewriting their papers as the day moved on. Her work will certainly change the way we think of color in early printed books from now on. Dr. Upper has posted some of her work here:


‘Detail of Hans Baldung Grien (attr.), Title Border with Wrestling Putti, colour woodcut from two blocks (red and black). Title page of Juan López, De libertate ecclesiastica (Strasbourg: Johann Schott, 1511). – See more at:


The Annunciation, colour woodcut from two impressions (black and red), in The Primer in Latin and Englishe [1555]. CUL, Young 263, fol. A1r. (c) Cambridge University Library.

Dr. Upper has several new books coming, including Vivid Prints: Colour Printmaking and the Transformation of Visual Information in Early Modern Germany, 1476-ca. 1600 and Printing Colour: Histories, Techniques, Functions and Reception, Vol. I: 1400-1700.

Those attending the College Art Association conference next February in Chicago will have another chance to hear Dr. Upper speak in the United States, with a paper entitled: “Early Modern Decals: Printing Intarsia in the German-Speaking Lands, c.1550-c.1650,” for the session Objectifying Prints: Hybrid Media 1450-1800.