24. Lithography in the Age of the Hand Press

Michael Twyman
(Evaluation of the RBS 1994 version of this course)

This course, which will explore a wide range of applications of lithography in Europe, is aimed at those who are concerned with books, prints, and ephemera especially of the first half of the c19. Topics include: Senefelder and the discovery of lithography; lithographic stones and presses; the work of the lithographic draftsman, letterer, and printer; early lithographed books and other printing; the development of particular genres, including music printing; chromolithography in the context of color printing.

1. How useful were the pre-course readings?

1: Too many. Should have required one or two with minimum quantity. Most of us don't have time for hours of preparation. [Then you are in the wrong school! -Ed.] 2: Quite helpful, although I really only had time to scan a half-dozen of them. However, my new knowledge of the bibliography will be most useful. 3: I found the pre-course readings extremely useful, especially in those areas where I did not have previous experience (music printing, for example). I already have a gener- al background in the subject, but I definitely found doing some preliminary reading helpful. 4: I got the list but had no time; reviewing the course list during the course, I could see that it was excellent. 5: I had the list in time but didn't have the character to tackle it properly. 6: Very appropriate. 7: Very useful; though the course was so clear and well organized that it could have been followed without having done much of the reading at all. 8: I did not have most of the readings available to me before RBS. 9: Quite -- gave me a good background to walk in more prepared to discuss rather than just sit back and listen. Also a great list to have for future use.

2. Was your faculty member well-prepared to teach THIS course?

1: Exceptionally well prepared. 2: INDEED!!! Who better? 3: Best possible. 4: My instructor WROTE this course. On a scale of 1-10, he should receive 100. 5: Supremely well prepared. Lectures were organized and systematic, slides were in order and to the point. 6: Yes. 7: Well, well prepared. 8: Extremely. 9: Absolutely -- a real pro+articulate+welcoming of questions, to boot.

3. Was the intellectual level of the course content ap- propriate?

1-2: Yes. 3: Yes, ideal. 4: Perfect. 5- 8: Yes. 9: Yes -- required a bit of prior knowledge, but provided tremendous amount of information for those prepared to go beyond the basics.

4. Did the actual course content correspond to its RBS brochure description and Expanded Course Description? Did the course in general meet your expectations?

1: Yes. 2: Yes, and exceeded them. 3: Yes. Yes. 4: Perfect. 5: Yes. Even though I'd heard great things about MT and his course, in actuality my expectations were greatly surpassed. 6-7: Yes. 8: Yes. Yes. 9: Yes.

5. What did you like best about the course?

1: 1. Tremendous knowledge and experience of the instructor. 2. Well organized and well delivered lectures. 3. Excellent visual aids, well integrated into the subject. 4. Hands on use of RBS print collection very helpful. 2: Apart from the content (in that I began the week as an intellectual pygmy in the subject), MT's scholarship and unassuming teaching style, plus his unwavering enthusiasm for the subject, is most impressive. 3: The best part of the course was the chance to benefit from MT's expertise. His slides were extremely good and very helpful. I liked all parts of the course, but was per- haps most interested in the sections on pictorial lithography since they relate most closely to my own interests. 4: The personality and enthusiasm and knowledge of the instructor. 5: Delivery of the lectures. The slides, especially the details beside the full image. 6: Looking at actual material. 7: Chance to examine actual prints and try to figure out their techniques. Chance to ask questions of the thoroughly knowledgeable instructor. 8: The thorough presentation. Slides. The instructor's sense of humor and ability to include students in discussions. 9: MT -- a wonderful font of all kinds of information, charming, encouraging, one of the best teachers I've ever had.

6. How could the course have been improved?

1: This course material cries out for one-day laboratory, learning to make a lithograph. I hope it can be integrated into future schedules. 3: More and better specimens. 4: I only wish that in the beginning of the first day I had some idea of printing styles. I think many of us in the class were not as sophisticated about lithography as MT assumed and an overview and/or examples may have helped -- but so saying, by Day 5 things were easier. 5: Temperature control of/in Taylor (we either froze or stifled). Begin on time -- one classmate delayed nearly half the sessions by straggling in late. 6: More information about parallel industries (paper, textiles, etc.). 7: Get temperature level under control. 8: I might have liked additional time to look at actual samples from the periods discussed. 9: Somewhat in jest -- more time! MT made what might have been a very narrowly focused, discrete study seem expansive and endlessly fascinating, relating lithography to such varied fields as printing history, graphic communication+social history -- a week didn't do the subject justice!

7. Any final thoughts?

1: As always, a memorable and useful week of learning and fellowship. It only gets better. Remind students to bring coat hangers. TB's lecture delivery mightily improved - no ``umms.'' 2: Perhaps if each student could bring one or two examples of lithography to be discussed, that might be interesting, though I realize it might not in all cases be possible. 3: It might be a good idea to stress the need for a good background in printmaking techniques, especially some basic familiarity with lithography. I think everyone enjoyed and benefited from the course regardless of their previous experience, however, so perhaps this is not vital. Personally, I think it was the best course I've ever taken, anywhere, anytime. A fantastic experience! 4: I always take RBS literature to all the classes I teach in NYC (and I teach a lot) and always urge my students to attend. I will continue to do so. In view of this particular course, I would urge them to do some reading beforehand. 5: An elegant addition to the RBS course of- ferings. 8: Just do it. 9: Thanks -- a great time.

Number of respondents: 9


Leave         Tuition        Housing        Travel

Institution   Institution    Institution    Institution
gave me leave paid tuition   paid housing   paid travel

100%          84%            67%            65%

I took vaca-  I paid tui-    I paid for my  I paid my own
tion time     tion myself    own housing    travel

0%            5%             11%            35%

N/A: self-    N/A: Self-     N/A: stayed    N/A: lived 
employed, re- employed,      with friends   nearby
tired, or had retired, or    or lived at
summers off   exchange       home

0%            11%            11%            0%

			     Under nego-
                             tiation with

Three students (33%) were conservator/binder/preservation librarians; three students (33%) were rare book librarians; and one student (11% each) was an antiquarian bookseller, an archivist/manuscripts librarian, or a print specialist in a library.