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The Origins of European Printmaking: Fifteenth-Century Woodcuts and Their Public

September 4 – November 27, 2005
West Building, Ground Floor, Outer Tier Galleries G26 through G29

German 15th Century, An Easter Calendar Beginning with the Year 1466, 1466, woodcut in dark brown, hand-colored in yellow, ochre, green, rose, and brown, Rosenwald Collection, 1944.2.1

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: More than 150 15th-century woodcuts and metal cuts on paper, vellum, and cloth in this exhibition explored the introduction of printmaking in Europe. The works were drawn from the holdings of the National Gallery of Art, the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, and other collections. Included were blockbooks and manuscripts as well as wood blocks, pilgrim badges, molds, and other objects associated with the prints. 15th-century portrait paintings of a male and female donor by Petrus Christus from the National Gallery's collection also were on view.

National Gallery lecturer Eric Denker presented a special lecture series, "Printmaking in the West: History and Technique," in association with the exhibition.

Organization: The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg. Peter Parshall, curator of old master prints, National Gallery of Art, and Rainer Schoch, keeper of the collection of prints and drawings, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, were the curators.

Sponsor: Air transportation was provided by Lufthansa. The exhibition was supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Attendance: 35,647

Catalog: Origins of European Printmaking: Fifteenth-Century Woodcuts and Their Public, by Peter Parshall and Rainer Schoch et al. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, in association with Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2005.

Other Venues: Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, December 14, 2005–March 19, 2006