Cutting the Grain: Nuances of Wood Relief Prints

Cutting the Grain Exhibition Aug 27-Dec14, 2019

Most patrons of the arts are familiar with the visual characteristics that define woodcut prints on paper, yet few are aware of wood engravings. Both mediums are reverse image print processes in which the raised surface of the wood block is inked and printed. A selection of 18 prints from the Art Museum’s permanent collection will provide visitors with an introduction to the nuances of wood relief prints, including materials, tools and techniques.

Wood relief printmaking has a long history that began with woodblock prints in China nearly 1,400 years ago. The print medium reached international popularity in the 15th century. Thanks to the invention of wood engravings in the 18th century, wood relief printmaking experienced a resurgence following a decline that resulted in the introduction of intaglio print processes. Masters of woodcut and wood engravings include artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Katsushika Hokusai, Gustave Doré and M.C. Escher, who elevated wood relief prints to a celebrated art form.

Sadanobu Hasegawa III (Japanese, 1881-1963)
Sakai Dako, Actor with Drum, c.1952
Color woodcut on paper
Anonymous Donation

Jim Dine (American, b. 1935)
Fourteen Color Woodcut Bathrobe, 1982
Woodcut on paper, number 44 from an edition of 75
Miami University Art Museum Purchase through the Robert B. Sinclair Memorial Fund

10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Saturday Noon-5 p.m.

Related Programming

NOTE: Gallery hours are extended during any program held after 5 p.m.


Curator Talk | Cutting the Grain

Jason Shaiman, Curator of Exhibitions

Wed, Sep 11 | 3 p.m.

Wood-relief printmaking has a long history extending back to the 5th century CE with the advent of woodblock prints in China. By the late 18th century, wood engravings emerged as the preferred medium among artists. Explore the history of these two wood relief formats, learn about what distinguishes these media, and discover how artists explored the two forms of relief printing.

All Programs are FREE & OPEN TO ALL and held at the Art Museum (unless noted otherwise).