Today Renaissance-era prints are typically preserved behind glass or in solander boxes in museums, but these decorative objects were once a central part of everyday life. Altered and Adorned is a delightful, surprising look at how prints were used: affixed on walls; glued into albums, books, and boxes; annotated; hand-colored; or cut apart.
This handsome volume introduces readers to the experimental world of printmaking in the mid-fifteenth through early seventeenth centuries and the array of objects it inspired, from illustrated books, sewing patterns, and wearable ornaments to sundials, other astronomical instruments, and anatomical prints. It features many treasures from the Art Institute of Chicago’s rich permanent collection that have never before been published, along with essays on the ways prints functioned—in some cases as three-dimensional and interactive works—and how their condition communicates their past use.
The Art Institute of Chicago, 2011 112 pages, 9 x 12 98 color illus.