Gutenberg Opened the Door
by Carol Bodensteiner
Solomon and His Wives, Michael Wolgemuth, 1491When Gutenberg invented the printing press process in 1440, he opened the door for a new art form — fine art printmaking. Using a printing press, the artist executes a work in one of many serial techniques, such as etching, woodcut, and silkscreen, in effect printing multiple originals. Printmaking techniques have evolved and reached new heights at the hands of artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Pablo Picasso, and Katsushika Hokusai.
Fine art prints created over the past 500 years are on display in Charles City thanks to former Iowan Arthur Mooney, who collected 76 fine art prints throughout his life and upon his death gifted his collection to the Charles City Public Library. The collection includes works by such artists as Dürer, Dali, Rembrandt, Hiroshige, Thomas Hart Benton, and Grant Wood. Viewers can study the history of printmaking techniques, from simple drawings to shading and the addition of color.
View the Mooney Art Collection during library hours. Visit www.charles-city.lib.ia.us/artgal.