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15th-17th century European prints will be displayed at the UI Museum of Art

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art will display "15th-17th Century European Prints From the Permanent Collection" in the museum's Works on Paper Gallery Sept. 19-Oct. 25.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Valerie Hedquist, associate professor of art at Central College in Pella, will give a free lecture and gallery tour at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30 as part of the museum's weekly Perspectives series.

The exhibition will include rare examples of prints by renowned masters Rembrandt, Van Dyke, Pieter Bruegel the elder and Albrecht Duerer, as well as works by the lesser-known artists Martin Schongauer, Stephano Della Bella and Adriaen van Ostade. Three new acquisitions will also be shown, "Temptation of St. Anthony" by Jacques Callot, "Noah's Ark" by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione and "Drunken Silenus" by Jusepe de Ribera.

Printmaking began in the mid-15th century with the invention of engraving and movable type. Print shops appeared soon after and began producing vast amounts of wood-cut-illustrated books and broadsheets to meet the demands of a public captivated by an accessible and affordable medium. Prints were produced in editions and were less expensive than unique paintings. Consequently their ownership was not restricted to the wealthy. Books, cards and single prints quickly spread throughout Europe, permitting an exchange of stylistic and technical ideas.

Early artists' prints depicted primarily religious subjects, but over time the range of imagery grew to encompass secular images including landscapes and scenes of everyday life. Ranging from portraits to maps, prints documented how things looked. They also reproduced paintings, imparted moral values and expressed points of view.

Kathleen Edwards, curator of prints, drawings and photographs at the UI Museum of Art, said, "the museum has an extensive collection of prints that aren't often on view. But aside from being a chance to view rare, old master prints, this exhibition is the perfect opportunity for museum patrons to trace the evolution of printmaking from its very beginning in 15th-century Europe all the way through to the 17th century."

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive, and adjacent to the UI Alumni Center, which is just north of the museum.

M.C. Ginsberg Objects of Art, Inc. of Iowa City is the corporate sponsor for the 1998-99 Perspectives series at the UI Museum of Art, through the University of Iowa Foundation.