CCA+D: Corcoran Alumni Printmakers, Curated by Georgia Deal
Pinpointing the exact beginning of printmaking at the Corcoran is difficult. The earliest classes offered were in painting and drawing and followed the academic model of European academies.
In 1938-39 the school prospectus included the following: "Etching - An etching press is available in the School and casual criticism will be given occasionally. This class will be open to advanced students of the School who have competence in drawing and composition." Although no faculty was identified, Principal Richard Lahey must have been involved as it is one of his students, Marguerite Kumm, whose etching was illustrated in the next year’s prospectus. The first formal program of instruction was announced in 1961 when Jack Perlmutter became a member of the faculty and students "were offered the opportunity to work according to various traditions of relief printing (including oriental techniques) - [with] emphasis - placed on creativity and imagination as well as esthetic quality of the finished print." The program grew to a four-year program offered in 1967-68 with additional printmaking faculty Eugene Frederick and Krystyna Marek. By 1976 the Corcoran School received accreditation to offer a Certificate and Diploma for either two or four years in a variety of majors which included "Graphic Arts." During the 1980s the faculty changed with the retirements of the original three and the arrival of Georgia Deal, Scip Barnhart, Dennis O’Neil and David Adamson. In 1985, Deal founded the Corcoran Portfolio, an exchange of prints between faculty and students, as a means to give identity and a sense of unity to the department. The Print Department grew beyond the downtown campus and established additional facilities in the Georgetown building in 1992. Faculty expansions have included Kate Woodliff, Pepe Coronado, Manuel Navarette, Rebecca Alberts, Lynn Sures, Candace Edgerley, and Kerry McAleer Keeler. Currently, eighteen courses in print and digital media, papermaking and book arts are offered.
Printmaking at the Corcoran has grown in four decades from a program offered as an enhancement to the studies of painters and graphic designers to a fully developed major. The Print Department’s professionally accomplished faculty, whose own works are widely collected and exhibited, continue to serve as mentors to a new generation of printmakers.
- Linda Crocker Simmons Curator Emeritus Corcoran Gallery of Art