Art Happens: Help Curwen Print Study Centre bring their archive to life
Tuesday, 28 June 2022
Henry Moore had a life-long interest in printmaking; one of his earliest works was a linocut from c.1914. In 1958, Moore began a longstanding partnership with The Curwen Studio under the directorship of Stanley Jones, which produced some of his most recognisable and creative lithographs.
The Curwen Press under Stanley Jones in the 1950’s was the first studio in the UK to establish Artist Printmaking by enabling both the print technician and Artist to work together in collaboration. This was a unique way of working as presses had previously been operable only by union members. Moore was one of the artists who worked closely with Stanley Jones in this period. In fact many of the inventive, colourful lithographs in our Henry Moore: The Sixties exhibition were created at The Curwen Press.
In the 1990s Stanley Jones set up the Curwen Print Study Centre to preserve & protect handcrafted printmaking skills for future generations. For over 20 years the CPSC has led the way in providing training in art printmaking for artists and students of all skill levels. Recently the Study Centre moved to amazing new premises which offer increased space for teaching artists of all ages and abilities plus dedicated space for established artists to develop their own practice.
During the move Lorraine Chitson, Director, took the opportunity to take a closer look at a collection of lithography stones that had been given to CPSC by Curwen Editioning in 2014. The stones had been stored outside at Chilford Hall, Curwen's former home, since 1989 and were quite overgrown with ivy and brambles. As the plant growth was cleaned away it became became clear that some had images on them. One was recognised as Elizabeth Frink and another featured recognisable Henry Moore figures! The stones were so large and heavy that it took a team of strong people and a skip-lorry to recover them and bring them to the new CPSC in Thurlow, Suffolk.
The Henry Moore stone, below, was used to make his 1963 lithograph Eight Reclining Figures with Rock Background. Stanley Jones remembers that “ The stone lithograph formed the black colour way with additional colours added to the print with photo lithography plates”. The cleaned stone is now on display in the gallery at Curwen Print Study Centre, next to Elizabeth Frink's.
Alongside this gallery display, Curwen would like to create a new space to display their Archive and allow free access to a unique collection of prints, documentation and correspondence by leading 20th Century artists.
The Curwen Archive holds prints (both finished and in stages), letters from Artists and supporting documents relating to the lithographic print process including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Paula Rego, John Bellany, HRH Prince Charles and Elizabeth Frink to name but a few from the 1960’s to early 20th Century. It provides an important insight to the finished print edition enabling an understanding of process, technical skills and artistic aims.
Learn how Art Happens are aiming to raise money for a new home for the Curwen Archive
Video credit: Curwen Print Study Centre and the Art Fund
Curwen need to raise the £26,350 funding needed to ‘Bring the Curwen Archive to Life’ in their new space. Your support can make their Archive accessible to everyone for the first time. To find out more and make a donation, visit their Art Happens page before 6 July 2022.
Henry Moore Studios & Gardens
Dane Tree House
T: +44 (0)1279 843 333
Opening times 2022:
1 April to 30 October 2022
Wednesdays to Sundays and Bank Holidays, 11am-5pm
Henry Moore Archive:
Open by appointment. Monday to Friday, 10am-4.30pm