40 Years of Print Club Gifts

40 Years of Print Club Gifts
70 x 70 inch (h x w)

40 Years of Print Club Gifts

On the occasion of Print Club’s 40th Anniversary, this virtual exhibition presents all of the 76 prints, drawings, and photographs— 49 purchased and 27 commissioned—given to the Des Moines Art Center since the Club’s founding. It also presents 22 prints that have been conserved with funds donated by the Print Club.

The 76 Gift and Commissioned Prints are displayed in chronological order of their creation. After, you will see the 22 works from the Permanent Collections that have been conserved, with Print Club’s support.

Click on the information symbol to display the extended labels.

Beginning in 1982, Print Club has made annual gifts of works of art to the Permanent Collections, ranging from early 16th-century to contemporary prints. With the director and curators, Print Club researches prints for consideration. Some years, the focus is on finding works that fill a gap in the Art Center’s holdings of a particular time period, printmaking technique, historic style, or individual artist. The Club prepares an educational presentation about the proposed prints and then at the Annual Meeting, members vote to select one or more of the prints to donate to the Art Center.

Since the tenth anniversary year, Print Club has commissioned 27 contemporary artists to create prints in editions of 50 to 60 prints. Members have priority before sales are open to the public. Proceeds from the sales support the purchase of Gift Prints, conservation of prints, print exhibitions, and related publications. Available prints can be purchased in The Shop at the Art Center.

History of the Des Moines Art Center Print Club

In the fall of 1980, several Des Moines Art Center members—collectors, art historians, printmakers, and others who wanted to know more about prints—told DMAC director Jim Demetrion of their desire to form an interest-based membership group that would support the print collection, print exhibitions, and print-related educational activities of the Art Center. In 1981, the Board of Trustees approved the establishment of the Club, whose dues would support programs and an annual purchase of a print for the Permanent Collection.

The first meeting of the Print Club was held at the Art Center on March 25, 1981. From 25 charter members, it has grown to a group that at times has exceeded 200. Print Club members must have an active membership in the Art Center. Member-driven, Print Club’s working officers and committees, in collaboration with staff liaisons, keep the Club vital and focused on its mission. In contributing their ideas, creativity, and enthusiasm, as well as their resources and art, Print Club members feel a deep connection to the Art Center. In addition to the gifts made by the Club, members have personally given and bequeathed well over 1,000 prints to the museum.

Since its founding, Print Club has held well over 300 programs, with some open to the general public. These include talks by artists and art historians, gallery talks, visits to artist’s studios and private collections, hands-on printmaking, and print dealer appraisals, as well as social and culinary events. In its fortieth year, Print Club continues to adapt to the times with members gathering virtually on Zoom. 2021 marks the first online exhibition presented by Print Club.

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