Art Appraiser & Art History Writer and Editor
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Ten Essential Books on Printmaking for Your Bookshelf

Want to learn more about prints? There are great books to help you learn the basics. Here are my recommendations for ten great books every print lover should have on their bookshelf. 

How to Identify Prints Bamber Gascoigne

1. Bamber Gascoigne How to Identify Prints


There are many types of prints, and this book breaks down the different media so you know whether you have a woodcut, lithograph or mezzotint. It's an incredibly useful resource so you can start looking very closely at prints your collection.

 
Anthony Griffiths Prints and Printmaking

2. Anthony Griffiths, Prints and Printmaking

An essential foundation of the history of printmaking, Griffiths' book gives an overview of printmaking history. The book is organized by media, and explains, illustrates and places each technique in historical context.

 
The Print and the Western World

3. Linda C. Hults, The Print in the Western World



Another expansive introduction to the history of printmaking, Hults' book also gives a history of printmaking, but she delves into the individual characters, places and themes as printmaking develops.

 
Prints & People

4. A. Hyatt Mayer, Prints and People

The last of the more general resources on this list, this book differs from the others as it is organized by name so you can easily search it by artist's name or type of printing process. It is a wonderful resource to have.

 
Prints and Visual Communication

5. William M. Ivins Prints and Visual Communication

Ivins 'thesis in this seminal book centers on how prints moved from reproductive process to a creative one after photography was developed. It was one of the first books to declare the validity of the printed picture.

 
Artists & Prints

6. Deborah Wye, Artists and Prints: Masterworks for the Museum of Modern Art

Interested in Modern art? This books outline the important Modern printmakers and is organized by artist. It focuses on those works in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

 
Dave Williams, Small Victories

7. Dave Williams, Small Victories

If you are interested in collecting then this book is for you! A couple chronicles their years amassing a collection of American prints. It provides great insight into how one carefully curates a print collection.

 
The Renaissance Prints

8. David Landau and Peter Parshall, The Renaissance Print

Written by two of the most significant scholars specializing in the field of prints, this book focuses on th history of Renaissance printmaking particularly in Germany and Italy. A must for any lover of Old Master prints.

 
Painted Prints

7. Dave Williams, Small Victories

If you are interested in collecting then this book is for you! A couple chronicles their years amassing a collection of American prints. It provides great insight into how one carefully curates a print collection.

 
Andy Warhol Prints

10. Catalogue Raisonnees

Most significant artists have catalog raisonees for their graphic work, and if you are especially interested in a certain artist then it is well worth the investment. From Bartsch and Hollstein who outline Old Master prints to Feldman/Schellmann who did Warhol's catalogue raisonee there are wonderful resources out there to deepend your knowledge of a particular artist.

Sarah McMillan