The University of Wisconsin Press

Art / Art History


Progressive Printmakers
Wisconsin Artists and the Print Renaissance
Warrington Colescott and Arthur O. Hove

Printmaking at the University of Wisconsin, 1945–1995

Printmaking exploded on the American art scene after World War II, rapidly expanding from New York to the Midwest and beyond. Central to this movement and its development was the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where a group of talented young artists was making prints and developing a print curriculum. Progressive Printmakers documents, in words and stunning pictures, the breakthrough aesthetics and technical innovations that made the Madison printmakers a force in the art world.

In lively memoirs and analyses, the artists tell the story of the evolving print program at Madison. The distinguished print historian, the late James Watrous, provides an introductory overview, placing the program's development in the national context of the American print renaissance. A concluding chapter traces the founding of Tandem Press, an exciting extension of the Wisconsin print curriculum. As Watrous notes, the University's commitment has been "renewed again and again during a half-century when printmaking flourished in America as never before."

"An important verbal and visual document of a great period of American printmaking."—Gordon W. Gilkey, Pacific Northwest College of Art and Curator of Prints and Drawings, Portland Art Museum

"A superb chronicle of a unique period in the development of printmaking in the U.S. in the post–World War II years. This is an excellent history of a gifted group of artist-professors who, through their creative and innovative approach to the teaching of printmaking, helped to initiate a renaissance in printmaking that has become a singular addition to twentieth-century American artistic expression."—Clare Romano, Pratt Institute, and John Ross, Manhattanville College

Artists featured: Alfred Sessler, Dean Meeker, Warrington Colescott, Raymond Gloeckler, Jack Damer, Walter Hamady, William Weege, Frances Myers, David Becker

Warrington Colescott is an internationally known artist and the Leo Steppat Professor of Art Emeritus, University of Wisconsin–Madison. Arthur Hove, special assistant emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, served in a number of capacities during a long association with the University. He was assistant to the chancellor and director of public information from 1970 to 1989. From 1989 until his retirement in 1996 he was special assistant to the provost. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, he also taught courses in the School of Business, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Department of Art. He holds the Distinguished Alumnus Award presented by the Wisconsin Alumni Association and is the author of The University of Wisconsin: A Pictorial History also published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

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A print by a Wisconsin printmaker of a gathering of Norse gods, overflown by a bare-breasted Valkyrie.

July 1999

LC: 98-051818 NE
236 pp.  8 1/2 x 11  115 illus.

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