Tuesday, March 30, 2010

American Historical Print Collectors Society Annual Meeting

I was away on vacation last week, so am just beginning to catch up enough to make some new posts.... Upon my return I got the latest issue of the American Historical Print Collectors Society newsletter. It gives information on the forthcoming annual conference, the subject of today's blog.

I have talked about the AHPCS in previous blogs, what a great group of people are members and how terrific are its publications, such as Imprint. One of the really nice things about the AHPCS is its annual meetings. This year's meeting will be held in one of my favorite cities, Pittsburgh, from May 20 to 22. I got to know Pittsburgh while writing Panorama of Pittsburgh and I found that not only did the city have superb repositories of prints, but it was an exciting urban center well worth visiting for its history, architecture, restaurants, parks, and much else.

The meeting organizer, Marilyn Bruschi, has put together a varied program, with a series of interesting talks on different print topics, including a presentation I will make based on material from my book. The meeting will also include visits to some of Pittsburgh's great institutions. The meeting will start at the Heinz History Center, where we will see many of the Center's huge collection of prints and photos. This is followed by a stop at the Duquesne Club, a private club which houses a terrific collection of 19th century paintings and the only known copy of James T. Palmatary's 1859 view of Pittsburgh, the largest and most detailed view of the city from the nineteenth century.

On Friday we'll visit the Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History for more lectures and a private tour of their exhibit on caricature, led by its curator Amanda Zehnder. Then we'll move next door to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, to see their collections, including their wonderful watercolors by John Abbot, and then off to the Hunt Botanical Library for a lecture on and viewing of botanical illustrations.

The fun continues on Saturday where we'll visit the Frick Art & History Center, where I will speak as will George Nama, probably the most knowledgeable man on Pittsburgh prints, not to mention a fabulous artist in his own right and a terrific guy! Time will be set aside for a visit to Clayton, the Frick home on the grounds.

Besides all these lectures and visits to these great places, there will two dinners with the group (and a "show & tell" on Friday night) and an optional visit to Falling Water on Sunday. You do not have to be a member of the AHPCS to attend, but as I have said elsewhere, this is a wonderful organization well worth joining! For more information and a registration form, you can visit the AHPCS web site. I will post a blog about the conference at the end, but wouldn't it be better if you were there yourself?

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