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‘The Business of Prints’ at The British Museum, London

The British Museum is hosting an exhibition “The business of prints” at the museum’s London location.

Partly based on the on the 2016 Antony Griffiths book “The Print before Photography: An Introduction to European Printmaking 1550–1820”, the exhibition explores new perspectives of printmaking as an art, which goes way back since 15th century, when it was very different in form and process than what we perceive as today’s photographically-derived imageries. Focusing on four major topics- the production of prints, the lettering on prints, the usage of prints, and the collecting of prints and the concern for quality- the exhibition examines prints as an object for trade. 

On view are many books and series displayed in table cases, while framed prints are showcased on the wall, along with unique objects like a prompt for an early form of karaoke, and prints from worn-out plates, illustrating the process related to the lettering on prints. The exhibition also recalls the forgotten trade of mass production that lasted for a period spanning 450 years between 1400 and 1850, when every production of the pictorial image had to undergo through various collaborations, highlighting the complexities of the craftsmanship involved in the process, along with the varied nature of print itself and its trade patterns.

The exhibition will be on view through January 28, 2018, at Room 90, Prints and Drawings Gallery of The British Museum, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG, UK.

For details, visit

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