The Print Club of New York
The Print Club of New York was established in 1991 by Morley Melden and a group of 150 avid print collectors interested in sharing the joys of collecting, increasing their knowledge about prints and printmaking and supporting contemporary printmakers. The late Sylvan Cole, one of the foremost gallery directors in the field of American art, was the Club’s principal advisor. Membership was increased to 200 the following year to accommodate the many collectors and print enthusiasts who wished to join.
From the start, the Club has commissioned an annual print for its membership, the artist selected by a committee that changes each year. In 2009, the first seventeen of these prints were exhibited for two weeks at the National Arts Club on Gramercy Square in an exhibit titled The Print Club of New York: Seventeen Years of Commissioned Prints. A fascinating panel discussion on “The Artist/Printer Collaboration,” moderated by Club member Stephen Fredericks, featured artist Will Barnet, master printers Randy Hemminghaus and Maurice Sánchez and master paper maker Ann McKeown, all of whom have played a role in creating commissioned prints for the Club.
The Print Club also maintains an extensive educational program that includes lectures by artists, curators and conservators, panel discussions of issues of interest to print collectors, as well as visits to galleries, auction houses, print shops and artists’ studios, including Swann Auction Galleries, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, Derrière L’Étoile Studios, the Zimmerli Museum at Rugers University, New York Public Library, International Print Center New York and various Chelsea galleries.
Beginning in 1994, the Print Club has also hosted an annual Artists’ Showcase, inviting less well-known and underrepresented artists to display and talk about their work to Club members. A committee spends many weeks visiting artists’ studios and print shops, narrowing down their selections to only a few finalists. Each artist gives a short slide presentation about his or her work, and then members are able to purchase prints directly from the artists at the end of the event. As a result, numerous sales have benefited both artists and collectors. In March of 2011, the Club mounted an exhibition at the National Arts Club in Manhattan - PCNY ARTISTS’ SHOWCASE 1994 – 2010: Prints from Members’ Collections.
The Print Club welcomes print enthusiasts of all sorts – artists, scholars and collectors – to apply for membership.