Andrew Raftery is an engraver and print scholar. His current project, “The Autobiography of a Garden on Twelve Engraved Plates,” explores new approaches to transfer printing on ceramics. He is Professor of Printmaking at Rhode Island School of Design.

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

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