Chazen Museum of Art


American Monotypes from the Baker/Pisano Collection

On View December 19, 2014–February 22, 2015

December 4, 2014

American Monotypes from the Baker/Pisano Collection is an exhibition of unique prints from the permanent collections of the Chazen Museum of Art and the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, NY; all gifts from the Baker-Pisano Collection. The exhibition’s 56 monotype prints span the twentieth century and include work by Georgia O’Keeffe, Mary Cassatt, Red Grooms, Maurice Prendergast, and William Merritt Chase.

A monotype is literally unique. While the goal of printmaking—whether intaglio, relief, silkscreen, or lithograph—is to create a number of identical impressions, monotype creates a single, unrepeatable impression. A monotype is created by painting or drawing with pigment on a plate (copper, zinc, Plexiglas, or any impermeable surface), which is then printed using a printing press or other printing technique. Monotypes possess a spontaneous, painterly quality with a combination of printmaking, painting, and drawing effects.

Among American artists there was an unprecedented upsurge in interest in monotype at the end of the 1800s, when Americans in Europe learned the technique and shared it with others as they returned to the U.S. The popularity was part of the broad interest in experimentation that suffused the arts through the twentieth century, and artists continue to create monotypes to this day.

The rise of the monotype in America began in Italy in the late nineteenth century, where a group of American artists in Florence regularly met and experimented with the medium. Though artists had produced works by this method nearly two centuries earlier, the Americans’ enthusiasm for the technique gave it new life and spread the monotype to America. In fact one of these American artists, Charles Alvah Walker, probably coined the name “monotype.”

Generous support for this exhibition has been provided by the Chazen Museum of Art Council and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibition and catalog have been underwritten by The Karen H. Bechtel Foundation.

The catalog for the exhibition will be available online at

Exhibition Events

Jan. 29, 2015

5:30 p.m. Lecture: Joann Moser, senior curator and specialist on American monotypes at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (and UW–Madison Alumna), will lecture in conjunction with American Monotypes from the Baker/Pisano Collection. Chazen Auditorium

6:30–8 p.m. Celebratory Reception for American Monotypes from the Baker/Pisano Collection. Refreshments, live music, cash bar.

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Media contact: Kirstin Pires

The Chazen Museum of Art is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The museum is located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The main entrance is accessible to wheelchairs. Parking is available at the City of Madison State Street Campus Ramp (entrances on Frances and Lake streets) and under University Square. Hourly parking is available in the UW lot 46 with credit card payment. Evening and weekend parking is also available in UW lot 83 under Fluno Center, entrance on Frances Street, and in UW lot 7 under Grainger Hall, entrance on Brooks Street. The Chazen will provide sign language interpreters for associated programs by three-week advance request to Anne Lambert, Curator of Education, weekdays, (608) 263-4421 (voice). Information is also available by visiting our website at

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