Stanley William Hayter and the Artist’s Workshop

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In 1945 The Print Center sent out a letter announcing a new initiative: The Artist’s Workshop. “This is not to be class or school,” the letter reads, “but to be for artists who are interested in technical research in graphic materials.” Over the next seven years, the British artist Stanley William Hayter (1901 – 1988) came to Philadelphia monthly to instruct at the Workshop. He was well known for his innovative, collaborative approach to the print workshop. He established this approach in Paris at Atelier 17, where many of the Surrealist artists, including Joan Miró and Yves Tanguy, learned to print. Hayter moved his studio to New York in 1940 because of the war, and had a profound impact on many American artists, including Reginald Marsh and Jackson Pollock. His workshops at The Print Center had a similar impact on Philadelphia’s printmaking community, especially on Morris Blackburn, whose print Linear Space directly reflects the influence of Hayter’s signature techniques.