21 Etchings and Poems
Woodward Gallery presents an in depth, rare exhibition of 21 Etchings and Poems. The
complete 1960 limited edition was conceived by Peter Grippe in 1951 when he took over the directorship of Atelier 17, an internationally hailed graphic workshop.
This etching project, possibly the first of its kind in the United States, joined two creative
disciplines–art and poetry. Poets and artists invited for this historic collaboration worked in the almost forgotten tradition of the Book of Kells and William Blake’s Illuminated poems. Each print closely integrates text and image, including a poem written in the hand of its author and imagery
created through a wide range of innovative print techniques by an artist. For the poets who transferred their poems, in their own handwriting, onto the copper plate, this was an arduous, but exhilarating experience; a slip of tool meant beginning anew as they wrote backwards from a mirror image.
In 1954, the Atelier 17 was disbanded. Mr. Grippe, however, continued to work with the
artists in his own studio. The etchings where finally completed in 1960, nearly ten years
after its conception. 21 Etchings and Poems is not only a landmark of mid-20th
century American print publishing, but is unique in its inclusion of diverse writers and artists from of the 1950s. Many of the poets and artists went on to become leaders in their art forms.
Woodward Gallery proudly exhibits the complete portfolio detailing the great significance of this important body of work.