Past Events

Introductory Session: Printmaking for Change

Public Event Series – Ben Thomas, Marcelle Hanselaar

  • 2 October 2023
  • 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • Paul Mellon Centre

This event is part of Printmaking for Change: Past and Present – the Paul Mellon Centre's new public events programme.

Prints are multiple yet individual, unpredictable and hard to regulate, often critical, funny, ephemeral, frightening, irreverent, angry or just plain weird. They can be popular or obscure, sophisticated or clumsy, beautiful or ugly or, when responding to market demand, repetitive and dull. They are hard to define and categorise and for that reason tend to be ignored by curators in their displays, yet every national art collection will have far more prints than paintings. Prints are also cheap by comparison with other artworks and can be collected by ordinary people, disseminating their message widely. In this introductory session, art historian Ben Thomas and painter and printmaker Marcelle Hanselaar will discuss the properties of prints that challenge our expectations, and how as an artform they can be democratic, undisciplined and consequently forces for change.

This programme is an introduction to the subject and is open to all.

Talks and workshops will take place at the Paul Mellon Centre, the British Museum, PageMasters and the Royal College of Physicians.

Talks at the Paul Mellon Centre will be streamed live via Zoom. Off-site workshops will be in person only.

Registration via Eventbrite is required and opens 8 September.

Listing image Credit: Marcelle Hanselaar, Genesis, Lilith, Queen of the Night (detail), 2022, etching and aquatint, 380 mm × 430 mm. Image courtesy of the artist.

About the speakers

  • Ben Thomas_Headshot

    Ben Thomas is an art historian and curator based at the University of Kent, where he is Reader in Art History. He is the author of Edgar Wind and Modern Art: In Defence of Marginal Anarchy (2020), Humphrey Ocean (2019) and was curator of Drawing Together at the Courtauld Gallery (2017) and co-curator of the award-winning Raphael: The Drawings at the Ashmolean Museum (2017). Ben has published widely on prints and is currently writing a book on this subject entitled “Multiple Histories”. His exhibition Poetry & Magic at the Italian Cultural Institute in London will run from 7–30 November 2023 and will contain prints by Marcelle Hanselaar, Ana Maria Pacheco and William Blake among other works.

  • Mainly self-taught, Marcelle Hanselaar looks for ways to express those illusive questions of who and what we are when the mask is off, and how we appear when the mask is on. The shock effect of her work lies in the contrast of combining her outspoken subject matter through the conventional medium of oil painting or etching. Her work is included in public collections including the British Museum, London; Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London; V&A National Art Library, London; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; the Metropolitan Museum, New York, USA; Museum de Reede, Antwerp, Belgium; Clifford Chance Art Collection, London; University of Aberystwyth, Wales; and Meermanno Museum ‒ House of the Book, the Hague, Netherlands.