Doctor of Philosophy
Dr. Eric Garberson
Dr. Catherine Roach
Dr. Kathleen Chapman
Dr. Nicholas Frankel
The organization of eighteenth and nineteenth-century British printmaking and publishing was based on economic principles and occurred in the collaborative sphere of the engraver’s studio. Print designers, engravers, printers, and publishers formed a professional network that operated on economic principles, publishing prints that served to generate income for its participants. These ventures faced great challenges in the lengthy and laborious processes of engraving and publishing, and in financing the project for the duration of that time.
This project examines the economic structure of early nineteenth-century prints. Using comprehensive accounting records, it analyzes two well-known topographical print series. The profitable Southern coast by William Bernard Cooke and George Cooke is compared to the financially unsuccessful Tour of Italy by James Hakewill, series that both were partly based on watercolors by J.M.W. Turner.
A well-managed organization and a sound financial framework laid the foundation for a profitable venture. The success of print series hinged on several critical success factors, such as access to sufficient capital, strict cost containment, and optimized print editions.
An examination of the conflict that ended the collaboration between Turner and the engravers Cooke, originating in Turner’s demand for higher design fees, puts the validity of the arguments of both parties in a new light.
The investigation into the work practice of the engravers Cooke and the economic factors that determined the outcome of their labor contributes to a better understanding of the printmakers’ opportunities and challenges at the onset of the modern art market.
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Available for download on Saturday, November 30, 2024