In 1928, a group of artists in Seattle organized a society called The Northwest Printmakers with the "purpose of stimulating the production and appreciation of good prints, both by amateurs and professionals."[1] They held their first exhibition at the Henry Art Gallery located at the University of Washington in March of 1929. It quickly attracted national and international artists-- even Pablo Picasso's linoleum cut, "Femme a la Guitare," was submitted to the Fourth Annual Exhibition in 1932. In 1934, the Northwest Printmakers became affiliated with the Seattle Art Museum, where the majority of its exhibitions were held through the 1970s. In addition to the their earlier years with the Henry Art Gallery, the group also exhibited at the Portland Art Museum in 1940 and most of the 1960s.[2] The International Exhibition of Northwest Printmakers was discontinued after its 42nd show in 1971.[3] According to archival records of the Northwest Printmakers Society, it appears the society, and consequently the exhibit, were perhaps discontinued due to financial difficulties within the organization.[4]

This collection includes checklists spanning the years of the exhibition (1929-1971), exhibition entry slips and flyers, as well as a final postponement note. The checklists include artist names, works, jury members, society officers, and purchase prizes.

2.1 NWPM Jury LR_ Dan White_Ed Merrill_ Gordon Gilkey.jpg

Jury members (left to right) Ian M. White, Ed Merrill, and Gordon Gilkey examining prints for the 40th International Northwest Printmakers Exhibition, held in 1969. Courtesy of the Seattle Art Museum Photo Archives.

[1] Notice of Exhibition flyer, June 1928, Northwest Printmakers Records, 1929-1970 (Box 1, Folder 3), University of Washington Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries.

[2] Northwest Printmakers Records, 1929-1970, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.

[3] "Northwest Print Council," Print Alliance, http://www.printalliance.org/nwprint/nwprint.htm (accessed February 13, 2020).

[4] Ed Merrill letter to members, 1970, Northwest Prinmakers Records, 1929-1970 (Box 2, Folder 3), University of Washington Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries.