One of the Printmakers Council’s declared aims was to have a national museum of printmaking with an archive of works. There were two attempts to donate AAD/2015/8 members’ works to create a print archive.
1. Exeter College of Art & Design This was proposed in 1977 and was to be run by a board of trustees who were to be voted on by members. The idea was that every member would contribute an artist’s proof from each printed edition. Exeter would look after the collection in a dedicated store. The idea was to create an archive of the complete works of a substantial group of artists over a prolonged period of time. ‘the archive will differ absolutely in form and purpose from existing collections at the Tate or V& A, which reflect only the taste of a few individuals and what is commercially viable at the time’ (See newsletters 1977-1979). Trustees were elected – Harvey Daniels, Silvie Turner and Brian Rice. After a number of meetings Exeter decided that they did not want to be legally responsible for the proposed collection which put the whole project in doubt. Exeter then informed AAD/2015/8 that they expected a cut of 7% in their funding and felt that they could not fulfil the spirit and intention of archive as provisionally proposed (Newsletter Dec 1979) and the project was abandoned.
2. Scarborough Print Archive After the success of a Printmakers Council exhibition in Scarborough in 1991 (see Newssheet 1991), the Scarborough Art Gallery professed themselves keen to set up a print archive of contemporary prints from AAD/2015/8 members. Those artists who submitted their work National Open Print Fair in 1992, whose work was considered suitable, were asked to donate works to a Printmakers Council archive. Artists not selected for the exhibition could also have their works included in the archive. The final selection was made by Josie Adams of Scarborough Art Gallery.