Print Club archives
Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Print Club, founded in 1915 by Mr. & Mrs. Jasper Yeates Brinton, began as a group of Philadelphians sharing a common interest in perpetuating and supporting the art of printmaking. The original purpose of the Print Center was to establish a focal point for the study, production, collection, preservation, and celebration of both American and foreign printmakers. Over the subsequent 100 years, The Print Center's mission has expanded to include the appreciation and encouragement of the printed image in all forms, from mezzotints to collographs to photography. The membership has always included both collectors and artists; many of the former from the Philadelphia area, the latter from across the United States and Canada. Since its incorporation in 1921 it has been governed by a Board of Governors, from which the officers are chosen, and has been administered by a full-time Director. The organization is located at 1614 Latimer Street, Philadelphia, a building it has occupied since 1918 and owned since 1927.
The Print Club's exhibition program included annual juried shows, traveling exhibitions, and occasional retrospective exhibitions. In 1926 it mounted a Joseph Pennell retrospective. It showed the drawings of Brancusi, Modigliani, and Picasso in 1930, and a group of modern American printmakers in 1936. In the 1940s, the Club conducted master classes under Stanley William Hayter and others. It has published editions of prints by such artists as Frasconi, Kaplan, Paone, Spruance, Andrade, Osborne, Cummings, Spiegelman, and others, and has sold on consignment the works of many of its artist members. In 1942, The Print Club donated its collection of prints to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, forming the core of the Museum's fledgling print department, and the organization has continued to add to this collection each year through a purchase award from its Annual International Competition. In 1996, The Print Club changed its name to The Print Center to reflect its aim to serve both its members and the community.
From its early years on, The Print Club held lectures and social events for members. Today, "The Print Center Series" encompasses a wide variety of public programs, such as lectures, panel discussions, artist talks, readings, book launches and signings, gallery talks, informal social events, and visits to other cultural organizations. In the 1960s, The Club began an educational program called "Prints in Progress," which brought print making instruction to the city's schools. Since 2002, The Print Center has worked with Philadelphia's public schools to bring high school students a full year of art classes through its award-winning "Artists-in-Schools" program.
The Print Club archives consist of a variety of files covering its administrative, financial, exhibition, and general history, from the founding of The Print Club in 1915 through 1993. While the majority of the records are loose paper in format, the collection also contains several bound volumes, photographs, prints, proof sheets, negatives, and an audio tape. There are mainly boxes and volumes, but there are also some oversize materials which have been placed into flat files.
The Board’s files contain minutes and annual reports while other administrative materials include founding documents, personnel, insurance, membership, daily activity, and real estate information. Financial records include taxes, disbursements, sales and consignment books, and audit reports. There is also a large amount of correspondence written by the Board, officers, director, members, and artists. Scrapbooks created by the Print Club provide a glimpse of the organization’s history through newspapers, photographs, and printed material. Finally, there are several boxes containing material related to the numerous exhibitions, competitions, projects, and lectures created and sponsored by The Print Club throughout its existence.
Although the files containing minutes, annual reports, and exhibition and artist information providing an overview of The Print Club’s history, researchers should also look at the correspondence files, some of which contain thoughtful insight into decisions and adjustments made regarding Print Club administration and events. Among the financial records, researchers may be most interested to view the sales records showing which items were sold and to whom, while the tax files and the disbursement volumes, which depict standard operations followed by similar organizations, are of lesser interest. The membership and artist lists may also attract art historians and genealogists to the collection. Some of the most interesting items in the collection relating to The Print Club’s history include the paraphernalia, photographs, catalogs, and other publications and publicity material related to its events and activities.
Series 1. Administration, 1916-1989, undated; 14.75 Linear feet
Series 2. General Correspondence, 1915-1985; 6 Linear feet
Series 3. Finance, 1920-1991; 24.5 Linear feet
Series 4. Fundraising, Publicity, Public Relations, and Outreach, 1927-1993; 5 Linear feet
Series 5. Exhibitions, 1924-1995, undated; 13 Linear feet
Series 6: Artist Information,1927-1988, undated; 5.75 Linear feet
Series 7. Cooperative Efforts, 1952-1995; 1.75 Linear feet
Series 8. Publishers, 1971-1988; .5 Linear feet
Series 9. Scrapbooks, 1916-1978; 7.5 Linear feet
Gift of the Print Club, 1978-1996.
Accession numbers 78:20, A1992.065.
The series were arranged by order of importance to the Print Club as a functioning business organization. Any subseries and subsubseries were then organized in either alphabetical or chronological order, depending on which better reflected the activities of a particular department or function.
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Kristina Wilson.
- Finding Aid Date
- ; 2016.
- Processing and conservation made possible by a generous donation from the Print Center.
- Use Restrictions
The following boxes contain files that are closed to researchers as noted: 26; 27; 50-56
sundry financial, exhibit and correspondence material
correspondence from Ansel Adams
housed with oversized materials
housed with oversized materials
Original print by F.M. Nakayama removed and placed with oversized material in box 173
(2) posters removed to oversize
This file is placed with the ovesize material in box 173