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For immediate release:


What: The Atomic Edge: Design in Print Imagery, 1940-1960

Where: Tweed Museum of Art
University of Minnesota Duluth

When: January 19 – March 14th 2010

Events: Reception – Sunday, January 24th 2010 2-4pm.


The Tweed Museum of Art features The Atomic Edge: Design in Print Imagery, 1940-1960. The exhibition has been designed to illustrate the development of printmaking as a fine art, as well as how the atomic age affected American designers. The Atomic Edge mainly consists of works from the Kiser Print Collection donated by a former UMD professor Jesse Dorrance Kiser.


The exhibition is presented with assistance from the Daniel Kasle Print Fund at the Tweed Museum of Art. Rob Leff, the nephew of Daniel Kasle, and a founder of the Kasle Fund, has loaned additional pieces from his own private collection. This exhibition has been organized by the Tweed Museum’s second year intern class, Michael Cason, Marla Peterson, Adam Rosenthal and Erica Whalen.


The ending of the war and the dropping of the atomic bombs in 1945 affected culture and art by influencing the way forms were represented. Work during this period often incorporated biomorphic forms, in reaction to the war, and was slightly influenced by earlier art movements, such as Surrealism. A shift in leadership in art also occurred, as the center of production moved from Europe to the United States. The change in aesthetic was not present only in high art. Popular culture, including architecture, film, and consumer design also embodied the evolving zeitgeist.


The G.I. Bill of 1944 allowed soldiers to attend universities in unprecedented numbers As a result, printmaking departments expanded and experimentation began. New techniques were developed, shared, and perfected through work at university printmaking studies.


Visiting printmakers gave seminars and exchanged prints all across the country. As a result of these changes in the profession of printmaking, it quickly became more acceptable as a form of art than ever before. A stark change from the decades before WWII, when printmaking was simply thought of only as a method to recreate art works and a technique better suited for “non-art” purposes.


A past UMD printmaking professor, Jesse Dorrance Kiser, is the perfect example of this community of printmakers. Kiser collected prints from various artists to educate his students on multiple techniques of printmaking. The Atomic Edge hopes to increase the public’s appreciation of printmaking, which was born out of a generation's experience with science, industry, and war.


This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This project was also supported by the Daniel Kasle Fund at the Tweed Museum of Art and through the participation of Dr. Robert Leff and Frances Leff.



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