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Artists in France during the nineteenth century increasingly turned to printmaking as a form of original expression. They were inspired to explore the artistic possibilities of new mass-printing processes, such as lithography and wood engraving, and they sought to reinvigorate the etching process by developing innovative techniques. Prints by artists such as Félix-Hilaire Buhot, Eugène Delacroix, and Félix Vallotton demonstrate the extensive experimentation that was central to printmaking during this era.
The twenty-five prints in Experimental Ink are drawn from a group of works that local collector Ethel K. Hockerman and her charitable trust donated to the Museum over thirty years. The Hockerman Collection is a testament to the appeal that these experimental prints still have today.