Making and Knowing Prints

On Sunday there was a public lecture entitled, “A History of European Printmaking Processes in the 15th and 16th Centuries, with Their Antecedents” given byAd Stijnman at Columbia University to kick off a week of printmaking hosted by The Making and Knowing Project. It was a colorfully illustrated overview of precursors to relief and intaglio printmaking up to 1400, followed by an extended survey of Europe’s technical developments 1400–1600 in woodcut, metalcut, letterpress, engraving, etching and related printmaking techniques.

According to their website,

The Making and Knowing Project is a research and pedagogical initiative in the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University that explores the intersections between artistic making and scientific knowing. Today these realms are regarded as separate, yet in the earliest phases of the Scientific Revolution, nature was investigated primarily by skilled artisans by means of continuous and methodical experimentation in the making of objects – the time when “making” was “knowing.”

Drawing on techniques from both laboratory and archival research, the Making and Knowing Project crosses the science/humanities divide and explores the relationships between today’s labs and the craft workshops of the past, and between pre-industrial conceptions of natural knowledge and our understanding of science and art today.

Pamela H. Smith and The Making and Knowing Project, “Historians in the Laboratory: Reconstruction of Renaissance Art and Technology in the Making and Knowing Project,” Art History, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp. 210–233.
Pamela H. Smith, “New Directions in Making and Knowing,” West 86th, Volume 21, No. 1 (2016), pp. 3-5.
Donna Bilak, Jenny Boulboullé, Joel A. Klein, Pamela H. Smith, “The Making and Knowing Project: Reflections, Methods, and New Directions,” West 86th, Volume 21, No. 1 (2016), pp. 35-55.
Pamela H. Smith, Amy R. W. Meyers, Harold J. Cook, Ways of Making and Knowing: The Material Culture of Empirical Knowledge, Paperback Edition (University of Chicago Press, 2017).

Stay tuned to the Making and Knowing Project for a longer workshop and lectures in October.