Carnegie Museum of Art

Through September 15
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Long before the days of memes, posters and handbills, what tools and technologies did artists working during The Renaissance use to communicate? For the first time in decades, more than 200 masterpieces from Carnegie Museum of Art’s print collection are on view to the public in a show that reveals new insights on the highly evolved art form.

You have until September 15th to peruse the rarely seen works in Small Prints, Big Artists: Masterpieces from the Renaissance to Baroque, on view in Carnegie Museum of Art’s Heinz Galleries A & B.

Culled from the museum’s outstanding permanent collection of more than 8,000 prints, the special exhibition traces the development of the art form over the centuries, examining the evolution of printmaking techniques and exploring the meanings embedded in these enduring images.

Museum-goers will have the unique opportunity to discover delicate works by Renaissance masters and by artists working throughout the centuries in different European cities. Featured are works from 15th-century Northern Europe, groundbreaking innovations by masters such as Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt who worked in Northern Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries and fantastical 18th-century prints by Canaletto, Tiepolo and Piranesi.

Visitors will get a close-up look at intimately scaled woodcuts, engravings and etchings that reflect the historic and cultural development of printmaking as a complex art form and communication device.

 The show documents the period when artists first began to make prints in the mid-15th century, producing them as devotional images included in religious volumes or as small sheets handed out to pilgrims at monasteries and shrines. As techniques and uses evolved by 1500, a new art form and a new method of communicating ideas had emerged—one that had as significant an impact in its time as the Internet has today in our digital age.

Learn more about the history of printmaking and its prolific masters, during a drop-in tour, offered Fridays and Saturdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., through September 15th. Organized by independent curator Linda Batis, Small Prints, Big Artists is on view through September 15th.

Can you tell a museum masterpiece from a fake? While there, pop into the adjacent gallery to explore Faked, Forgotten, Found: Five Renaissance Paintings Investigated, on view through September 15th in  Heinz Gallery C. Learn ahow curators and conservators discovered a portrait of Isabella de Medici attributed to Alessandro Allori beneath the surface of a fake repainted in the 19th century, discover how to tell the museum’s genuine painting by Francesco Francia of the Virgin and Child apart from later imitations and copies and get a behind-the-scenes look at the intersection of art and science in museums. Showcasing forensic analysis of paintings in the museum’s collection that have undergone significant scientific examination and conservation, the exhibition presents extensive multimedia documentation that reveals a fascinating but little-seen aspect of museum practice.

As part of its special summer hours, the museum is open seven days a week through Labor Day.

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn; Self Portrait with Saskia, 1636; Etching; Bequest of Charles J. Rosenbloom, 74.7.205.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...