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The Art of JAMA |

Spine Patch Warrington Colescott

Carrie A. Butt
JAMA. 2016;315(8):732-733. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.14125.
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Since its inception, printmaking has always lent itself to controversial topics. Easily reproduced and distributed among the masses, prints could circulate ideas about reform and revolution, often by means of caricature or satire. The writings of Martin Luther, Goya’s Caprichios, the social commentaries of William Hogarth and Thomas Rowlandson, and the political critiques of Honoré Daumier all relied on print technology to communicate more insightful messages about contemporary issues. In the post-war United States, these characteristics were joined by a prevailing theory that the physical process of printmaking could impart an emotion as well as a message. Warrington Colescott (1921-   ) was a proponent of this dual point of view, once writing that, “Etching quickens the blood, lights up the eye, affects the satiric mind in the same way that a low-cut neckline affects Dracula.”

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Warrington Colescott (1921-   ), Spine Patch, 1956, American. Color hard-ground etching and aquatint. 39.5 × 45.4 cm. Courtesy of the Milwaukee Art Museum (http://mam.org/), Milwaukee, Wisconsin; gift of the artist and Frances Myers, M2004.416. Photo credit: Michael Tropea © Warrington Colescott.

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