van Meckenem, Ecce Homo
Dürer, Saint Jerome
Dürer, The Little Courier
Dürer, The Satyr Family
Raimondi, Façade with Caryatids
Altdorfer, The Resurrection
Beham, Peasant Couple
Beham or Dürer, Bookplate
Pencz, The Life of Christ
Davent, Musicians
Lautensack, Landscape
Matham, The Planets
Callot, Balli di Sfessania
Callot, La Chasse au Cerf
Rembrandt, Clement de Jonghe
Rembrandt, The Goldsmith
Della Bella, The Five Deaths
Ostade, The Fiddler
Both, The Five Senses
Nanteuil, Hardouin de Beaumont
Visscher, A Mouse in a Mouse Trap
Masson, Guilllaume de Brisacier
Piranesi, A View of the Temple
Watson, Mrs. Hale as Euphrosyne
Moreau, Les Petits Parains
Janinet, Le Sommeil d’Arianne
Blake, And My Servant Job
Unknown Engraver, Frederick
Gericault, Horses Going to a Fair
Jacque, Les Musiciens
Haden, A By-Road in Tipperary
Meryon, Saint-Etienne-du-Mont
Bresdin, La Sainte Famille
Whistler, Battersea Dawn
Whistler, Limehouse
Fantin-Latour, Manfred and Astarte
Legros, Le Grand Canal
Buhot, La Place des Martyrs
Forain, Le Calvaire (2e planche)
Pennell, In the Mist of the Morning
Hassam, The Old Mulford House
Zorn, "Oxenstierna"
Toulouse-Lautrec, La Modiste
Cameron, The Palace
Sloan, Anshutz on Anatomy
Bone, The Trevi Fountain, Rome
Knight, At the Footlights
McBey, Palestine: Blue Bonnets
Click on an image above or a title at the left to view the work.

One of my pleasures, albeit a mixed one, in being associated with prints for over fifty years is the chance to look through old catalogs. It is always a pleasure to look at great prints, even if only in reproduction, but there is the regret at not buying some of them at the then low prices and the frustration that many of them one cannot buy anymore - at any price. There are many repeated names in those old catalogs: Dürer, Rembrandt, Meryon, Whistler, Haden, Ostade, Janinet, Buhot, Bone, Forain, Pennell, McBey, Zorn, and others. These were some of the classics, the standards -- like popular music standards -- of the times. And like pop music standards, despite changing tastes, their quality does not fade.

But collectors’ enthusiasms change. While acknowledging standards, they are often diverted by something else. In the mid-nineteenth century what was most in demand were highly skillful engravings after famous paintings. Around 1900, fabulous prices were paid for mezzotint portraits (some of them magnificent, but also after paintings). In the Twenties, it was etchings, virtually any etchings. Today, when the best-selling prints are those of Andy Warhol, followed by a host of other contemporary artists, some well established, most not, and a very select group of twentieth-century modernists, presents a different picture. The craft element of print making, at least as practiced by the artist himself, is largely gone. Intellectual content, content of any sort, is frowned upon. There is conception and only conception. You get it, or you don’t get it. And either way, is there anything else apart from interior decoration and financial investment?

With all too much coverage of art appearing in the financial pages of newspapers, rather than the arts sections, with billionaires speculating on the fiscal ups and downs of contemporary art works, with artists going in and out of demand in a matter of years or even months, are there any standards? A standard, of course, is essentially a measure of quality. And so, it is good to remember that in the past, there were standards. They were based on conception, on execution and on content and they showed clearly that one print could be better than another, better conceived, better executed, more profound. In its necessarily limited way (we are, after all, only a small dealership) this exhibition shows some of those standards.