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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

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Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Mancini Merges Old And New, East And West In New Exhibit

Mancini+21+stands+beside+the+pieces+she+spent+months+curating.+The+exhibit+displays+a+variety+of+printmaking+techniques+from+ancient+to+modern.+Photo+courtesy+of+Jacob+Hollifield.
Mancini ’21 stands beside the pieces she spent months curating. The exhibit displays a variety of printmaking techniques from ancient to modern. Photo courtesy of Jacob Hollifield.

Art history student curates comprehensive printmaking exhibit on display all semester

It started when Youmi Efurd shared a collection of prints with art history and history double major, Erin Mancini ‘21. Efurd had wanted to do something with the prints for a while and it was Mancini who conducted research on printmaking that inspired the exhibit. 

“I was interested in not necessarily focusing on one specific component of printmaking,” Mancini said. “So I wasn’t going to do all Renaissance prints or all Japanese prints, but try to see the broader spectrum of prints and study what similarities their methods had and how they crossed cultures.”

What drew Mancini to the artform of printmaking was that, at one point in time, it was not considered an art form at all. Her exhibit, just like a strong english essay or history report, makes an argument. 

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The argument that guided her curation was that printmaking has historically been used more freely than other mediums because of their mass and popular consumption. This freedom fostered experimentation and variation in the printmaking form for centuries. 

When it comes to printmaking, “(Artists) didn’t have the same conventions and they were not tied to the same expectations from the people that patroned works,” Mancini said. “So they could experiment with more subject matter and also in the methods that they chose.”

After deciding to focus on printmaking, Mancini selected the works to borrow from various collections, such as those at Bob Jones University and the Greenville County Museum of Art. She was able to borrow Renaissance pieces, Japanese prints, modern American work and Buddhist images in order to illustrate the differences and similarities throughout the history of printmaking. She then researched each piece’s method of production before completing target research on the history and origins of each print. 

Being a double major allowed Mancini to merge two of her interests. When studying art history, she is often drawn to western art, but when learning about human history she takes interest in eastern and Asian topics — all of which are reflected in her exhibit. 

Mancini was able to complete her research and finish compiling the wall texts at the end of the fall semester. Upon returning from Christmas break, she began working on planning the placement of each work, which came to completion through Efurd and Mancini walking through the galleries and sticking papers to the wall to determine the location and height at which each piece would hang. 

The exhibit is organized by technique and method first, then by time period. It starts with woodcuts, progresses to ink rubbings and engravings and concludes with photomechanics and lithography from the 20th century. 

The exhibit will be up for the remainder of the semester and is titled, “The Art of Printmaking: Global and Historical Approaches.” It is on display in both the upper and lower galleries in the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts. You can visit the exhibit for free, Tues.-Fri. From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and until 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

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