Hosted by James R. Wehn, PhD, Van Vleck Curator of Works on Paper, Print Room: All Access takes place on the third Friday evening of the month.
“The tradition of a ‘print room’ dates back to at least the 18th century in Europe,” says Wehn. “Most of the works on paper in any given collection are not on view because there are too many to display them all and they are susceptible to damage from exposure to light. Although works on paper are typically stored in boxes or cabinets, there is a long-standing tradition of the study room so visitors can see these works.”
These special sessions, held in the Print Study Room, will feature 15 to 20 prints based on a theme of Wehn’s selection. He will spend the first 30 minutes or so talking about the prints, drawings, or photographs before taking questions from the participants. During the discussion, attendees will also be able to get an intimate look at the works.
“People will have a special opportunity to see these works unframed and uncovered by glass, and to examine for themselves the inks, the colors and the textures of the paper,” says Wehn.
The idea for hosting print-room events evolved in tandem with the Chazen’s larger goal of increasing uses of the museum’s spaces. “I wanted to make these works more accessible,” he says, “which is all made possible by our longer hours.”
Ultimately, he aims to not only educate visitors about the specific works on show, but also to start a dialogue with them about prints, drawings, and photographs, in general.
“My ultimate goal is to create conversations. I want to offer people an opportunity to have a transformative experience with works of art on paper.”
Sessions are free but are limited to 25 people.