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New England on Paper: Contemporary Art in the Boston Athenæum's Prints & Photographs Collections

April 6, 2017—September 3, 2017

Elizabeth A. Goddard, Playful Sea II, 2006. Monotype. Purchase, Frances Hovey Howe Print Fund, 2012
Elizabeth A. Goddard, A Playful Sea II, 2006. Monotype. Purchase, Frances Hovey Howe Print Fund, 2012

This exhibition showcases contemporary prints, drawings, and photographs from the Prints & Photographs Department of the Boston Athenæum. The Department began collecting contemporary works of art on paper in 2000 with the donation of the Frances Hovey Howe Print Fund, named in honor of Trustee Emeriti Frances Hovey Howe (1917-2001), an early childhood education specialist and collector of contemporary art. The Fund was established to support regional artists and to create a repository of artistic work on the built and natural environment and cultural life of Boston and New England. The Howe Fund has enabled the Athenæum’s Prints & Photographs Department to build a twenty-first century collection that relates to and complements its existing holdings of historic graphic material documenting New England culture.

The objects in this exhibition demonstrate the wide variety of artistic responses to the urban, rural, and community life of New England. Works in many different media are on display from linocuts, lithographs, and white-line woodcuts to hand-toned silver gelatin prints and digital photographs. Representational work is juxtaposed with more abstract compositions.

Catharina Slautterback
Curator of Prints and Photographs