APHA and CHAViC Conference

Friday, October 6, 2017 (All day) to Saturday, October 7, 2017 (All day)

Good, Fast, Cheap
Printed Words & Images in America before 1900

At the American Antiquarian Society
Worcester, Massachusetts — October 6-7, 2017

The American Printing History Association’s 42nd annual conference will be held jointly with the Center for Historic American Visual Culture (CHAViC) at the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) in Worcester, Massachusetts, October 6–7, 2017, with a post-conference event on October 8 at the Museum of Printing in Haverhill, Massachusetts.


This conference will explore the production, distribution, reception, and survival of printed words and images in America to 1900. In an era in which the process of design had not been separated from production, the purpose of the conference is to explore the inter-relation between composition, design, and printing processes. In the face of the familiar constraints of deadline and budget, early American printers used the materials and equipment at their disposal to design and produce necessary items in the service of democracy, education, science, commerce, entertainment, and the arts. Their inventiveness and problem solving often resulted in work ranging from the pedestrian to the sublime and that might, when considered carefully, offer lessons for today’s communications environment. How can the past inform the present and the future? How can the study of continuity and change through printing history inform contemporary design?



Conference registration is $100 ($65 for current students) and includes admission to all panel presentations, optional pre-conference tours of Antiquarian Hall at the AAS, a cocktail and substantial hors d’oeuvre reception on Friday evening, a box lunch on Saturday, and an optional post-conference event at the Museum of Printing on Sunday.

Registration for this year’s joint conference, including the pre-conference tours, with a means to pay securely is here.

Registration for the visit to the Museum of Printing is at the APHA website, here.

Questions? Sara T. Sauers, APHA VP for Programs, sara-sauers@uiowa.edu
Nan Wolverton, AAS Director, CHAViC, nwolverton@mwa.org



The list of speakers is available on the APHA website

Friday, October 6, 2017

(11:00 a.m. - Optional tours of Antiquarian Hall at the American Antiquarian Society)

1:00 p.m. - Welcome and opening remarks

1:10-2:50 p.m. - Printerly Identity, Subversion, and Nation-Building

  • Jennifer Chuong, PhD Candidate, History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University--“Fast and Slow Printing: Paper Marbling and Letterpress in Early America”
  • Jeffrey Croteau, Director of Library and Archives, Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library—“The Cheapest and Most Eligible Mode of Shedding Light on Masonry”: Anti-Masonic Almanacs, 1827-1837”
  • Kathleen Walkup, Professor, Book Art, Mills College Oakland—“Work Through a Gendered Lens: Image of Women in the Printing Trades”
  • Jonathan Wells, Professor, History, Afroamerican and African Studies and History, University of Michigan—“Amateur Print Culture and the Origins of Desktop Publishing in America”

2:50-3:15 p.m. - Break

3:15-5:00 p.m. - Illustrating Typography and Typos

  • Lynne Farrington, Senior Curator, Special Collections, University of Pennsylvania—“A Very Good Book Indeed: Selling Bibles by Subscription in Nineteenth-Century America”
  • Vince Golden, Curator of Newspapers, American Antiquarian Society—“Mistakes and Mishaps in Early American Newspapers and What They Can Tell Us”
  • Michael Russem, Book Designer, Kat Ran Press—“Ornament and the Printed Book in America”
  • Emily Sneff, Research Manager, Declaration Resources Project, Harvard University—The Substance and Style of the First Printings of the Declaration of Independence”

5:00 p.m. - Cocktail Reception with Isaiah Thomas Performance

6:45-8:30 p.m. - Education: Image, Text, Touch

  • Christina Kraus, Professor, Department of Classics, Yale University—“’Pointing the moral’ or ‘adorning the tale?’ Illustrations and Commentary on Vergil and Caesar in 19th Century American Textbooks”
  • Shawna McDermott, PhD Candidate, Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Pittsburgh—“Phrenology and Childhood: Visual Portrayals in the Periodical Press 1850-1900”
  • Amanda Stuckey, PhD Candidate, American Studies, William & Mary—“A Library for the Blind: Tactile Literacy and the Nineteenth-Century Embossed Book”
  • Laura Wasowicz, Curator of Children’s Literature, American Antiquarian Society—“From Plantation Bitters to Mi Abuela Facil: McLoughlin Brothers as ‘Manufacturer’ of Children’s Picture Books”

Saturday, October 7, 2017 - WPI Campus

9:00 a.m. - Keynote Address
Michael Winship, Iris Howard Regents Professor of English II, University of Texas at Austin—“Good, but not so Fast or Cheap”

10:00-10:15 a.m. - Coffee break

10:15-12:00 a.m. - The Process of Innovation

  • Amelia Hugill-Fontanel, Associate Curator, RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection—“Multitudinous Tints: An Inventor’s Pursuit of Instantaneous Multicolor Printing”
  • Julie Mellby, Graphic Arts Curator, Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University—“Printed, Pasted, and Published: Edward Wilson’s Photographic Magazine”
  • Amanda Nelsen, Director of Programs & Education, Rare Book School and Josef Beery, printmaker and letterpress printer—“Flying and Rolling in the Hand-Press Period: Book Production Efficiencies”
  • Hilary Stelling, Director of Collections and Exhibitions, Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library—“’The best and most universally approved system of illustration . . .’: Jeremy Cross’s The True Masonic Chart”

12:00-1:30 p.m. - Box Lunch Provided

1:30-3:15 p.m. - Printing Conflict : The Civil War

  • James Berkey, Assistant Professor, English, Penn State Brandywine—“Controlling the Press, Losing the Battle: Ambiguity, Agency, and Print in Civil War Soldier Newspapers”
  • Josh Brown, Executive Director, American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York—“Rise and Fall: Political Cartoons, Caricature, the Civil War, and the Transformation of Visual Satire”
  • Christine Garnier, PhD Candidate, History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University—“Assembling the Runaway: Self-Liberation and Visual Games of the American Civil War”
  • Kate Phillips, PhD Candidate, History of Art, Yale University—“The Topsy-Turvy Networks of Civil War Era Illustrated Envelopes”

3:15-3:30 p.m. - Break

3:30-5:15 p.m. - Transatlantic Connections

  • Baird Jarman, Associate Professor, Art History, Carleton College—“Beaten to the Punch: Fake News Illustrations of the 1860 Boxing Championship”
  • Michael Knies, Special Collection Librarian/Associate Professor, University of Scranton—“’American Novelities are Foolishness!’: British Judgements on the American Typeface and Printing Invasion, 1878-1890”
  • Mathieu Lommen, Senior Curator of Graphic Design, Special Collections Library, University of Amsterdam—“Lettering From Neo-Gothic to Art Nouveau: 19th Century American and European Lettering Manuals”
  • Rose Roberto, National Museums Scotland & University of Reading—“(Re)using Images: The Wood Engravings of the W. & R. Chambers Firm”

5:15-5:30 p.m. - Closing Remarks

Sunday, October 8, 2017, 10 am to 3 pm
Post-Conference Visit to the Museum of Printing in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Admission for the day is free, but registration is required. This event is limited to 60 participants. Transportation to and from the Museum of Printing from the Holiday Inn Express in Worcester is available for $35 per person. Register here.

The Museum of Printing is “dedicated to preserving the rich history of the graphic arts, printing and typesetting technology, and printing craftsmanship.” Founded in 1978, the Museum houses printing and typesetting equipment from the foundry era and hand composition, to hot metal machine linecasting, to the world’s only “cold metal” phototypesetting machine display, to office communication equipment including Mimeograph and typewriters. The carefully curated displays are combined with an art gallery, two beautiful libraries, a printing workshop, and gift shop.

Frank Romano, Museum of Printing president and RIT Professor Emeritus, and the Friends of the Museum of Printing have generously set aside Sunday, October 8, 2017, from 10 am to 3 pm for a post-conference event you won’t want to miss. Tours, programming on Typographic Oddities and Preserving the Past for the Future, a staffed workshop (featuring three Vandercooks, a Gordon platen, and two showcard presses) with opportunities for hands-on keepsake printing ($5 donation), time to browse libraries filled with extraordinary books and ephemera, and gallery exhibits. Refreshments and lunch are included.


About the Conference Location

The American Antiquarian Society was founded in 1812 and is a both a learned society and a major independent research library. Located in the midst of a region dotted with sites related to printing and book history, the library houses the largest and most accessible collection of books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, periodicals, music, and graphic arts material printed through 1876 in what is now the United States.

A post-conference event will be held on October 8 at the Museum of Printing in Haverhill, Massachusetts.


About the Organizations

APHA is a membership organization founded in 1974 that encourages the study of the history of printing and related arts and crafts, including calligraphy, typefounding, typography, papermaking, bookbinding, illustration, and publishing. The organization does this through a wide variety of programs and services: the annual conference and Lieberman Lecture series; the fellowship program; the scholarly journal Printing History; and annual individual and institutional awards that honor distinguished achievement in the field of printing history.

CHAViC was established at the AAS in 2005 and is dedicated to providing opportunities for educators to learn about American visual culture and resources, promoting the awareness of AAS collections, and stimulating research and intellectual inquiry into American visual materials. CHAViC accomplishes these goals by offering fellowships, exhibitions, workshops and seminars, conferences, resources, and improved access to AAS collections.



Sara T. Sauers, APHA VP for Programs, sara-sauers@uiowa.edu
Nan Wolverton, AAS Director, CHAViC, nwolverton@mwa.org

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