In the early 20th century, a great number of print clubs were formed across the United States—in New York and California, Ohio, Illinois and Kansas.1 Each worked, in its own way, to advance the art of printmaking: they supported local printmakers, offering presses, demonstrations and a community of shared interests. Many also emphasized public education and encouraged print collecting in the belief that familiarity with art and with working artists would lead Americans to see printmaking as a valuable art form. This mission often led to collaboration with local art museums that offered exhibition and meeting spaces, as well as access to a broader public. Clubs in Chicago, Philadelphia and Cleveland had a particularly profound influence on the development of museum collections.
- Similar organizations had arisen in the 19th century as part of the Etching Revival, but faltered as a result of large edition sizes and occasionally shady marketing practices. See: Joby Patterson, Bertha Jaques and the Chicago Society of Etchers (Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 2002), 18–19.