Andrew Raftery is an engraver and print scholar. As Professor of Printmaking at Rhode Island School of Design, he often collaborates with the RISD Museum on exhibitions and educational programs, recently as consulting curator for “The Brilliant Line: The Journey of the Early Modern Engraver” at the RISD Museum and the Block Museum at Northwestern University.

James Smillie Engraves a Voyage of Life

James Smillie after Thomas Cole, The Voyage of Life – Childhood from the series The Voyage of Life (ca. 1854–56), steel engraving, image 39.1 x 58.1 cm, sheet 69.2 x 101.7 cm. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Garrett Collection, BMA 1984.81.2422. Photo: Mitro Hood.

In Thomas Cole’s moralizing painting cycle The Voyage of Life (1840), a small everyman and his guardian angel pass through vast landscapes embodying human experience, from innocent delight (Childhood) through aspiration (Youth) Read More

Charm, the Great English Blight: Edward Bawden in 1949

…and what did I find? Charm again. “Not quite my cup of tea,” I thought; “this is too English.” I have the fancy for rather spicy things, you know, not for the shade of the cedar tree, the cucumber sandwich, the silver cream-jug, the English girl dressed in whatever English girls do wear for tennis—not that, not Jane Austen, not M-m-miss M-m-mitford. Read More

No. 3: J.X.E. 358 by James S. Janecek

If I could curate an exhibition from this round of Prix de Print entries, I would concentrate on the large group of abstract prints found among the applications—works that exploit the materials, processes and historical implications of printmaking to carve out distinctive territory for abstraction. Read More

Remaking Dürer: Investigating the Master Engravings by Masterful Engraving

Andrew Raftery’s engraved copper plate, partially finished, after Albrecht Dürer’s St Paul (1514). An enlargement of Dürer’s original lies under the plate, alongside engraving tools.

For the last three years paper conservator Angela Campbell and artist-engraver Andrew Raftery have been engaged in an innovative research project aimed at answering certain questions about Albrecht Dürer’s working methods and about the physical life of engraved plates—the sources of some of the most powerful and influential images of the 16th century. Read More

Drawing and its Double: The Engraved Plate

Fig. 1. Giorgio Ghisi, Il Giudizio universale (Ghisi Composite) after Michelangelo (1549), 10 matrices and an additional portrait of Michelangelo, burin on copper, entire composition 122 x 107 cm. Rome, Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Inv. 201/1-11.

Among the very first items accessioned by the Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design (founded in 1877 along with the school where I teach) was a set of etchings by Salvator Rosa. Although the artist made the plates in the 17th century, the impressions are from the 1870s, printed in reddish-brown ink on 19th century paper. Read More