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Art of the Photogravure

Mark Katzman
TOKY Branding + Design

PHOTOGRAVURE HAS PLAYED AN ESSENTIAL ROLE in the origin and evolution of photography. Its history is inextricably intertwined with the earliest discoveries and pursuits of the medium. While initial interest in photogravure was motivated by an effort to solve technical problems, over time photogravure was practiced for its own distinct merits.

The history of photogravure also parallels the history of photography's struggle to be recognized as a fine art. Photographers like Peter Henry EmersonAlfred Stieglitz,Alvin Langdon Coburn and Paul Strand made it their mission to open the eyes of the western world to the artistic potential of the medium of photography, and they relied on the supple and rich photogravure process to accomplish this end.

Using photogravure they painstakingly produced books, journals and portfolios that enabled larger audiences, for the first time, to see and appreciate the aesthetic and artful capacity of photography. So enamored by the process, these photographers often chose photogravure for their own final prints. 

Veteran photographer Mark Katzman's passion for the photogravure print-making process was ignited the first time he saw an original photogravure. Since that day, he has been on a mission to learn all he can about photogravure.

This website reveals a story he believes has been untold until now. It not only celebrates the beauty and history of the photogravure process, but also highlights the important role it has played in shaping the history of photography.

It is Mark's hope that this site will enable photogravure to be recognized as one of the most beautiful and important of the photographic processes. And that in this digital age its practitioners will be appreciated for their dedicated craftsmanship and limitless passion for this all but forgotten art.

The site allows the casual user to learn about photogravure quickly, but allows the experienced collector or scholar to dive deeply into nuance, exploring hundreds of artists and thousands of individual images. 

The site has been featured in "Communication Arts" magazine, was a CommArts Webpick of the Week, and is in the Permanent Collection of the Museum of Online Museums. At the 2007 TED Conference,  Julius Wiedemann, editor in charge at Taschen, called it one of 100 Sites to Know and Use. It has been recognized by the Library of Congress and Harvard's College Library.


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