Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Catherine Roach


The Richmond Printmaking Workshop (RPW) was in operation from 1978 to 1991 during a nationwide print revival. From the 1960s through the 1990s, hundreds of new printmaking workshops and cooperatives sprung up across the country. This newfound popularity in the medium led to a boom in the print market and resulted in widespread experimentation of the medium. The RPW, founded by artists Nancy David and Gail McKennis, began in response to these trends and demonstrates how the print resurgence operated on a local level. Like many other small printmaking workshops of the period, it provided printmaking equipment to artists and promoted the print medium through classes, lectures, and membership in a Print Club. The locally-oriented workshop was a place for artists to meet, work on art, and form a supportive printmaking community. The RPW provided artists with opportunities to create portfolios, mount exhibitions, and experiment with new printmaking techniques. The various programs sponsored by the RPW were meant to engage both the professional printmakers and amateur artists of Richmond. An extensive print collection was formed from the various activities of the organization. A portion of the collection was eventually donated to the University of Richmond Museum in 2001. This collection of 253 prints spans the duration of the RPW’s existence and demonstrates the wide variety of prints created at the workshop and the diverse programs they organized. Although the workshop closed in the early 1990s, the RPW’s significant influence on the artists involved, the Richmond art scene, and generations of printmakers to follow is evident. This thesis provides an institutional history of the organization to give context to the print collection and provide a sense of how the nationwide print revival operated on a local level.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

January 2014