Exhibit Deep Dive: Old Type, New Ways

Old Type, New Ways: Work from the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
An Exhibition at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
273 E. Erie St., Milwaukee, WI 53202

On view at MIAD: January 16 – March 9, 2024,
Monday-Saturday, 10 – 5 p.m.
Reception at MIAD: January 25th, 5 – 8 p.m.;
Make & Take Printing begins at 6 p.m.

Hamilton is a working museum that prints with its collections and continues to create new wood type using the original tools and machines from the factory. The “Old Type, New Ways” exhibition showcases original prints, type, printing blocks, and new works created from the collections at the museum. This display is a unique and rare view of American advertising art and the contemporary state of letterpress printing.

Exhibit at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
One of the display panels from the exhibit

The wide-ranging exhibit, encompassing 320 linear feet of wall space and ~3,600 square feet of open space, features a wealth of information, historical artefacts, and art work organized within four sections.  

  • Hamilton History
  • Printing History & Process
  • Collections
  • Community Engagement

Exhibit at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
One of the display panels from the exhibit

    Hands-on exhibit components include a “make and take” printing station (available during the reception), the New Impressions 2023 catalog, and wood type.  

    Videos on display as part of the exhibit show the process of producing a multi-color print, the process of cutting wood type with a vintage pantograph, and a panel discussion with the Cultural Community Engagement artists. 

    Exhibit at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing MuseumMaster Typecutter Georgie Liesch with legacy typecutter Mardell Doubek

    The Community Engagement section displays some of the ways in which Hamilton engages contemporary letterpress printers.

    • Cultural Community Engagement project
      An “exhibit within an exhibit” of work from 4 visiting artists invited to work with historical image blocks in the Enquirer collection, re-interpreting them through contemporary eyes (read more here). 

    • New Impressions 2023
      Another “exhibit within an exhibit”, this display shows the work of 41 international artists whose work pushes the boundaries of letterpress (read more here).

    • Really Big Prints! 2023
      This display highlights the 2023 round of the biennial streetroller printing event, during which 40 artists printed their large, hand-carved blocks.

    Exhibit at at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum

    Hamilton Program Officer Stephanie Carpenter during the Really Big Prints! event with MIAD intern Ryleigh Leon (l) and UW-Stout intern Libby Meyer

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