20th Anniversary and Open House Celebration

Saturday, May 25th was a fun day at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum as we celebrated our 20th anniversary. Over 200 visitors joined us at the museum to learn about the history of wood type and Hamilton and to experience printing and wood type cutting demonstrations.

There were mini-tours by our knowledgeable volunteers, along with presentations of how wood type is created on a pantograph. George Liesch was at the pantograph, David Carpenter at the trimming table, and Daniel Schneider was at the die stamping machine making borders.

In addition, visitors were given the opportunity to pull a print to take home as a keepsake. Vintage and new wood type and images were set and each visitor was invited to print a mini-poster. With the mix of images each poster could be unique!

Those attending the Open House could be seen enjoying popcorn, learning about the different collections at the museum, and having a hands-on experience. A mini-carnival with coloring stations, ring toss, and a prize wheel offered lots of smiles and laughs. Dean Konop Caricatures was creating caricatures most of the day and Benjamin Jordan was taking photos in the photo booth. The Mystic Moods Band entertained us all for a bit, too.

We had speakers throughout the day, including, Jim Van Lanen Sr., Museum Founder; Jim Moran, Museum Director; Jeff Dawson, Museum Board President; and Bill Moran, Artistic Director. Jim Van Lanen Sr spoke about the process of setting up the museum. Jim Moran reminded us of the importance and impact of the museum in the last 20 years, while Bill Moran dreamed of what is possible as the museum moves forward. Jeff Dawson spoke about the role of the new Hamilton Board and the process of strategic planning the museum is currently going through. It was a very good time to reflect on our past, while also looking forward to the next 20 years and beyond. 

In the evening we had a reception for New Impressions 2019. In our gallery we have work on display from 42 different letterpress artists from 9 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, Argentina, Austria, Norway, Brazil and Italy. Stephanie Carpenter, museum Assistant Director, shared some of the interesting processes of the works on display and announced the winners of the juried exhibition. We celebrated all the artists and all the exciting things happening with contemporary letterpress printing. New Impressions celebrates new and innovative ways letterpress is being incorporated into a modern artistic landscape. You can still purchase pieces from this show in the Hamilton Dry Goods store.

Congratulations to the award winners of this year's exhibition. Nick Loaring won the Aetna Award for Sly & the Family Drone Golden Cabinet PosterChrista Carleton won the Directors Cut Award for No Longer People Pleasers; and Cory Wasnewsky won the People's Choice Award for Bagpipe.


Aetna Award: Nick Loaring, Shipley, United Kingdom, Sly & the Family Drone Golden Cabinet Poster, Hot metal/ Lino/Letterpress

Directors Cut: Christa Carleton, Missoula, Montana, No Longer People Pleasers, Letterpress with Pressure Print and Color Reduction Woodcut


People’s Choice: Cory Wasnewsky, Nashville, Tennessee, Bagpipe, Letterpress

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