Last updated: 2/28/2009
Houston, Texas
Street Address
1324 West Clay
Houston, TX 77019
Mailing Address
1324 West Clay
Houston, TX 77019
phone: 713-522-4652
fax: 713-522-5694
e-mail: rwatts@printingmuseum.org
web: www.printingmuseum.org
Hours
Tuesday - Saturday10 AM - 5 PM
The Museum also hosts groups dedicated to maintaining the arts of the book: the Museum's Book Arts Group and its Printers' Guild each meet on a monthly basis to promote collaboration, exchange techniques and ideas, and to create hands-on projects.
Admissions
Free for self-guided tours
Staff
Ann Kasman, Executive Director
phone: 713-522-4652
Amanda Stevenson, Curator
phone: 713-522-4652
Rose Watts, Office Manager
phone: 713-522-4652
Charles Criner, Artist in Residence
phone: 713-522-4652
Kevin Curry, Facilities Manager
phone: 713-522-4652
Description

The Museum of Printing History displays a dynamic collection of historical documents, fine art prints, and antique printing equipment. Our Museum is more, though, than its permanent collection. It is alive with exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations. In our galleries and working studios, we demonstrate the traditional processes of stone lithography, letterpress printing, papermaking, and bookbinding.

Mission

The mission of the Museum is to promote, preserve, and share the knowledge of printed communication and art as the greatest contributors to the development of the civilized world and the continuing advancement of freedom and literacy.

History

The Museum of Printing History was founded in 1979 by Raoul Beasley, Vernon P. Hearn, Don Piercy, and J. V. Burnham, four printers with passions for preserving their vast collections and sharing them with the community. It was chartered in 1981 and had its official opening in 1982 with Dr. Hans Halaby, Director of the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany, cutting the ribbon.

Artifact Collections

Artifacts in the collection range in time from humanity's earliest writing through the twenty-first century. Our exhibitions document history from the origins of printing on Mesopotamian clay tablets around 3000 B.C., through pre-Gutenberg manuscript production. The collection reflects the beginning of printing in Europe with Gutenberg's invention of movable type, and illustrates printing of the Renaissance, the Age of Enlightenment, and beyond. A visitor will find the Dharani Scroll, an 8th-century Japanese text which is commonly considered the first example of printing words onto paper; a page from William Caxton, the first printer of the English language; a Spanish-Nahuatl dictionary printed by Juan Pablos, the first printer in the Americas; Old Master woodcuts and engravings; and various other treasures. In addition, the Museum contains exhibit spaces devoted to American Colonial printed documents and examples of early Texas printing.

Research Collections

A reference library of approximately 5000 volumes is available to the public by appointment. Subjects include the history of printing and related arts of the book, as well as reference texts related to any portion of the Museum’s permanent collection. Items include catalogs, manuals, ephemera, reference books, and periodicals to which the Museum subscribes or has subscribed. The Museum also maintains a large collection of wood and metal type, printing presses, cuts and dies, along with specimen books and ephemera from type foundries and paper companies.

Educational Programs

  • During our guided tours, visitors participate in the hands-on printing of a leaf of the Gutenberg Bible pulled from a period-accurate press, then move to the printing of the Declaration of Independence on a 19th-century Columbian iron handpress. Our tours complement a wide range of study, from science and technology to English Language Arts, from history to fine arts. While they explore the Museum, visitors and students will encounter scholars and artists who are gifted at bringing the past to life.

    Visitors to our workshops can view demonstrations and attend classes in letterpress printing, bookbinding, papermaking, lithography, and related arts. Our teachers, noted artists in their fields, welcome opportunities to display and discuss their work, in addition to teaching intensive classes. The Museum also hosts groups dedicated to maintaining the arts of the book: the Museum's Book Arts Group and its Printers' Guild each meet on a monthly basis to promote collaboration, exchange techniques and ideas, and to create hands-on projects.
Governance

501(c)3 governed by a Board of Directors

Library

Access: General Public

Appointment required: Yes

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MUSEUM CONFERENCES
Monday, November 29 - Wednesday, December 1, 2021 — Washington, District of Columbia
2021 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
Washington, District of Columbia
Saturday, March 5 - Tuesday, March 8, 2022 — Richmond, Virginia
Virginia Association of Museums Annual Conference 2022
Richmond, Virginia
Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
St. Louis, Missouri
Wednesday, March 16 - Friday, March 18, 2022 — Kingsport, Tennessee
Tennessee Association of Museums 2022 Annual Conference
Kingsport, Tennessee
Tuesday, March 22 - Friday, March 25, 2022 — Waco, Texas
Texas Association of Museums 2022 - Growing Together: Tackling The Challenges Of Today & Tomorrow
Waco, Texas
Thursday, April 7 - Saturday, April 9, 2022 — Point Pleasant, West Virginia
West Virginia Association of Museums 2022 Conference
Point Pleasant, West Virginia
Sunday, May 15 - Saturday, May 28, 2022 — Statesboro, Georgia
Center of Excellence Tick Workshop 2022
Statesboro, Georgia
Monday, May 16 - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
InterActivity 2022: Play The Long Game -Association of Children's Museums
St. Louis, Missouri
Thursday, May 19 - Sunday, May 22, 2022 — Slinger, Wisconsin
2022 Fire Museum Seminar
Slinger, Wisconsin
Sunday, June 19 - Wednesday, June 22, 2022 — Golden, Colorado
2022 Country School Association of America Conference
Golden, Colorado
Monday, August 1 - Friday, August 5, 2022 — Owings Mills, Maryland
ASSOCIATION OF NATURE CENTER ADMINISTRATORS 2022 ANNUAL SUMMIT
Owings Mills, Maryland
Wednesday, September 14 - Saturday, September 17, 2022 — Buffalo, New York
American Association for State and Local History 2022 On-site and Virual Conferences
Buffalo, New York