One night at the Museum: moving Dürer’s paper triumph

I’ve revamped my older article “What is the Common Press?” this week, and it now contains a potted history of Press Genepy. So for my Friday feature…quite timely…here’s an account from the British Museum about the Albrecht Durer woodcut which has gone on special show. It’s a forerunner of the general exhibition about Germany “Memories of a Nation” which will be starting up soon.

British Museum blog

Joanna Kosek, conservator, British Museum

Preparing for the move. Preparing for the move.

Once the final visitor had departed from the Museum on Monday 14 July 2014 at 5.30pm a sizable team of specialists consisting of heavy-object handlers; exhibition designers, curators, conservators and photographers assembled in Room 12a in front of the world-famous woodcut of the Triumphal Arch by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528).

Albrecht Dürer, The Triumphal Arch, woodcut print on paper. (E,5.1) Albrecht Dürer, The Triumphal Arch, woodcut print on paper. (E,5.1)

One of the largest prints ever produced, this fantastic arch on paper was commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I (r. 1486–1519) to rival the arches of the ancient Roman Emperors as his own propaganda piece. Unlike the stone forerunners of antiquity, his print came in multiple copies out of Dürer’s workshop for distribution throughout the Holy Roman Empire. The giant print measures nearly 4 x 3 metres and was originally printed from 195 separate woodblocks. The copy in the British…

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