Oh, MoMA: that’s not printmaking

MoMA | Opening Day at Print Studio.

Remember that post I wrote about how describing a reproduction as a print is a pet peeve?  Well, the link above got my hackles up about the term printmaking.  It’s possible that there is some essential information  missing from that little article that would soothe my sense of wrong; I do not, however, see how scanning in a digitally-created image, digitally manipulating it, printing it out on an Inkjet or Xerox machine, then gluing on “vibrant additions” of yarn, colored sticks, paper, and–yes!–stickers, constitutes in any way a “printmaking process”.  That doesn’t even fit liberal definitions of printmaking.

MoMA!  What are you doing?  Calling this interactive installation “Print Studio” I get; okay, participants are at some point printing images using printers–but distinctly not through anything that could be called a printmaking process.  I was really excited about this article until I read it.  I know that printmaking is a bit esoteric, but it’s far from dead!  Is it unreasonable to expect fine art institutions to use the correct terminology when naming techniques and processes?

And now I am off to help teach an actual printmaking class, where students will learn how to set an etching press and ink up a plate.


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