The records of the Print Council of America measure 24.5 linear feet and 2.34 gigabytes, and date from 1951 to 2016. The collection includes administrative files, correspondence and subject files, interviews, exhibition and project files, financial records, and printed materials that document the council's founding and activities as a non-profit, professional organization of print specialists.
Scope and Contents:
The records of the Print Council of America measure 24.5 linear feet and 2.34 gigabytes (271 computer files), and date from 1951 to 2016. The collection includes administrative files, correspondence and subject files, interviews, exhibition and project files, financial records, and printed materials that document the council's founding and activities as a non-profit, professional organization of print specialists.
Administrative files consist of general administrative records and files for memberships, board of directors, trustees, committees, and digital photographs.
Correspondence and subject files contain a mixture of correspondence, writings, and printed material for various correspondents and topics.
The oral history project consists of twelve digital sound recordings and transcripts of interviews with council members Ruth Fine, Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann, Stephen E. Ostrow, Sue Reed, Robert Waddell, and others.
Files for exhibitions include American Prints Today 1959 and 1962 , the VII São Paulo Biennial exhibition Eleven American Printmakers (1963), the New York World's Fair of 1964-1965, and 30 Contemporary American Prints (1964). Project files include documentation for the Index to Print Catalogues Raisonné database, other publishing and research projects, surveys, a print collection in India, the People-to-People Program, the sales of an Edgar Degas work, and project proposals.
Financial records consist of cash vouchers, check stub books, financial reports, disbursement and cash receipt ledgers, The Lessing and Edith Rosenwald Foundation grant information, paid bills, and tax information. In printed materials are issues of Print Council's Newsletter, press releases, print sales and exhibition catalogs, reprints of advertisements, informational flyers created by the council, and a booklet marking the council's 50th anniversary.
The collection is arranged as seven series.
Series 1: Administrative Files, 1955-2016 (9.2 linear feet; Boxes 1-7, 24-28, OV 29; 0.26 gigabytes, ER01)
Series 2: Correspondence and Subject Files, 1953-2016 (5.9 linear feet; Boxes 7-12)
Series 3: Oral History Project, 2006-2016 (0.4 linear feet; Box 13; 2.08 gigabytes, ER02-ER13)
Series 4: Exhibition Files, 1956-2005 (3.0 linear feet; Boxes 13-16, OV 29)
Series 5: Project Files, 1956-2013 (3.4 linear feet; Boxes 16-19, OV 29)
Series 6: Financial Records, 1956-1995 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 19-21)
Series 7: Printed Materials, 1951-2016 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 21-22)
Biographical / Historical:
The Print Council of America (est. 1956- ) is a non-profit, professional organization of print specialists in Boston, Massachusetts.
The idea of a print council began in 1954 when a group of prominent art collectors, curators, and scholars gathered in New York to discuss creating a national organization that could promote prints and print collecting. After much discussion, by-laws and other legal documentation were drawn up by Joshua Binion Cahn, a legal advisor for the Print Council of America, to establish the organization. Some of the earliest members of the council, including Adelyn Breeskin, Gustav von Groschwitz, Una Johnson, William Lieberman, A. Hyatt Mayor, Elizabeth Mongan, Paul J. Sachs, and Carl Zigrosser, were led by Lessing J. Rosenwald, an art collector and son of Julius Rosenwald, who was part owner of Sears, Roebuck and Company.
Rosenwald's mission was to "foster the creation, dissemination, and appreciation of fine prints, old and new," and to encourage and professionalize the preservation, administration, and study of print collections in the United States and Canada. Eventually the organization evolved to become an authority on print standards, educating print professionals and collectors on how to prevent fraudulent practices by learning ways to identify authentic or "original" prints. As an authority on prints, the council published numerous guides and directories of print resources. One of the council's most notable accomplishments was the compilation of European, American, and Japanese print resources into the Index of Print Catalogues Raisonné online database. The council also aimed to provide its members with an avenue to share ideas through holding annual meetings. After the closing of the organization's New York office in 1973, annual and semi-annual meetings continued to be a valuable resource for members.
Today, the council continues to provide educational tools and resources for print professionals.
The Print Council of America records were donated in multiple installments from 1981 to 2017 via former council presidents Andrew Robinson, Sue Reed, Jay Fisher, Marjorie B. Cohn, and James A. Ganz.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of born-digital records with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.