Voices from the Beinecke Library

A Brief History of Printmaking

"A Brief History of Printmaking," the chalkboard diagram seen here, is an artifact of the Beinecke Library's recent master class, The Physical Structure of Prints, lead by Richard "Chip" Benson, photographer and pioneering printmaker and Professor at Yale School of Art. (Detail above. Full image linked below.)

The Beinecke Library offers master classes for Yale graduate students every spring. For more information visit:

About The Physical Structure of Prints Master Class: This class studies the physical makeup of prints by examining a wide variety of examples, ranging from traditional ink prints through photographs and digitally generated prints. Historical examples, created by methods no longer in use, as well as contemporary prints will be studied. The goal of the class is to familiarize the participants with print types through understanding their manufacture, to assist in the identification of prints made by different techniques. It is also the intention that the history of printmaking be seen by the students as a single centuries-old practice that has adapted itself to a wide variety of needs and methods of execution.

Richard “Chip” Benson has spent his life as a photographer, printer, and teacher. The recipient of NEH, Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships, Mr. Benson has photographs in many permanent collections including MoMA, the Met, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Yale University Art Gallery. He has pioneered techniques to make fine prints of vintage and contemporary photographs, reproducing the work of Atget, Steiglitz, Strand and Friedlander among others. In The Printed Picture (2008) he traces the changing technology of making and distributing pictures from the Renaissance to the present. May 6-10, 2013.

"A Brief History of Printmaking, or Chips's Chalkboard" (Click to enlarge)




Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street | New Haven, CT 06511
Campus Map

Tel: (203) 432-2977    Fax: (203) 432-4047

USPS: Mailing Address and Information


Beinecke events & news email list subscription via Yale Email Subscriptions



Monday 10 am - 7 pm
Tuesday-Thursday 9 am - 7 pm
Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday (Exhibitions only) 12 pm - 5 pm
Sunday (Exhibitions only) 12 pm - 4 pm

Holiday Schedule and Closed Collections Schedule