The Art Museum of West Virginia University and The Friends of the Art Museum will host the second “Art Up Close!” event for the fall semester, which will be a discussion of an 18th century print by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

The presentation is titled “A Piranesi Print: Process and Product” and will be held Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 5:30 p.m. in the Museum Education Center.

Presenters will be Professor Joseph Lupo, head of printmaking in the WVU School of Art and Design, and Professor Bernie Schultz, director of Education and External Affairs for the Art Museum.

This series of lectures is designed to give an in-depth look at a single work of art selected from the WVU Art Collection.

The “Art Up Close!” presentations are held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Museum Education Center (formerly the Erickson Alumni Center) adjacent to the WVU Creative Arts Center. All the events are free and open to the public.

Audience members will have the opportunity to view the actual print and participate in a question-and-answer session, followed by light refreshments.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) is among the most respected printmakers in history. His artistry is familiar to many through his magnificent “18th-Century Views of Rome,” which have captivated audiences and collectors ever since their creation. Less well known, however, are the etchings, which comprise Piranesi’s “Carceri,” imaginary views of prisons which he created and published in 1750. Piranesi later returned to these plates, re-worked them, and produced a second state of the “Carceri” prints in 1761.

In the “Carceri,” Piranesi opened his imagination to the grand ruins of Ancient Rome, inventing complex architectural structures which existed only in his mind. The result was a series of prints which has exerted influence over later generations of Romantic and Modern artists. The Art Museum holds the second state of “Plate XVI” in its collection, and this print will be the focus of the Art Up Close! presentation.

Professor Joseph Lupo will begin the presentation by examining the printmaking process of etching used by Piranesi in the creation of these works. With more than 40 solo and group exhibitions to his credit, Lupo is widely acknowledged as an artist on the forefront of contemporary printmaking. In 2008 he served as President of the Southern Graphics Council, the largest organization of printmakers in the United States. Professor Bernie Schultz will then discuss the “Carceri” within the context of Piranesi’s output and the impact that these works had on later artists. Schultz is the former dean of WVU’s College of Creative Arts and is co-author of the popular art history textbook, “Art Past/ Art Present,” currently published in its 6th edition, among other publications.

Considering this upcoming Art Up Close! presentation, Director Joyce Ice of the Art Museum commented, “We are most fortunate to be able to draw upon the expertise of one of our studio art faculty members as well as our museum educator for this talk. Our audience will have the opportunity to study a work in the collection from the viewpoints of an artist and an art historian. No doubt, this program will be lively and insightful.”

The Art Up Close! Fall 2012 schedule also includes:

Tuesday, Dec. 4—Art Museum Curator Robert Bridges discusses Blanche Lazzell’s whiteline color woodblock print, “The Graveyard,” 5:30 p.m., Museum Education Center.

For more information, contact the Art Museum of WVU at (304) 293-2141 or see the website at:


CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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