Introduction to the Collection Series: Prints & Drawings

Of the many resources found in The Rakow Research Library, prints and drawings are among our most fascinating.  As the Library’s Cataloging Specialist for works in this category, I have the opportunity to surround myself with these items on a daily basis.  Currently, we hold several thousand of these prints and drawings and our collection is constantly expanding.  Each piece contributes to the wealth of information that the Library offers on the history, art, business, and science of glass and glassmaking.

Our prints and drawings are stored flat in a secure, climate-controlled environment in either print boxes or flat file storage units.  And, depending on their fragility and media, they are also matted, housed in mylar (archival quality polyester film), or in acid-free folders, as their continued preservation is of the utmost importance.

Drawing #3 by Anne Gant

Anne Gant, Drawing #3, 2010. Burn marks and pencil on paper ; 27 x 19 cm.

Two of my personal favorites are fairly recent acquisitions.  The first is a pyrography by Anne Gant.  Pyrography is a term used to refer to burn marks left on a material by the controlled application of a heated object.  In this case, the artist has used the application of hot glass onto wet sheets of rag paper to create stunning imprints.  Drawing #3 is a pyrography she completed in 2010 of a vessel with two handles on a double layer of Rives BFK cotton rag paper.

Fallbrook vitreograph by Harvey K. Littleton

Harvey K. Littleton, Fallbrook, 1993. Ink and pencil on paper ; 56 x 65 cm.

My second favorite, Fallbrook, is a vitreograph by Harvey K. Littleton, one of the founders of the American Studio Glass movement.  Vitreography is a printmaking technique that uses the altered surface (for example, through cutting) of a glass plate to hold ink for its transfer to paper in an etching press.  This limited edition, four color print was hand printed on Rives BFK acid-free paper in 1993 and was acquired by the Library in 2011.  It captures a piece of Corning’s glassmaking history – the glass plant formerly located on Tioga Avenue, just across the bridge from The Corning Museum of Glass.

Each piece beautifully embodies the artist’s remarkable and unconventional use of glass.

Also inside this collection are prints and drawings that use other forms of media such as chalk, charcoal, watercolor, pencil, and ink.  They are all available to see – just stop by The Rakow Research Library and ask a reference librarian for help.

This is the second installment of the Rakow Research Library’s Introduction to the Collection Series.
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