S+P Take Two
The journey began in 1970 when I paid $50 for my first print, a color lithograph by Danish artist, Karel Appel (1921-2006). I was hooked! More prints followed and I was helped along the way by a friendship with artist and professor, Caroline Durieux (1896-1989) and helpful guidance from Sylvan Cole of Associated American Artists as well as June and Norman Kraeft who traveled across the country with solander boxes brimming with treasure. Our collecting habit was funded by the day jobs Ann and I held at Tulane University but, by the late 1980s, the hobby had gotten out of hand and we began selling so we could continue to collect.
For nearly 20 years, Stone & Press was an active gallery for fine prints and drawings with a French Quarter storefront in the New Orleans. As members of the International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA), we participated in the New York Print Fair for 14 years. We researched and published the catalogue raisonne’ on both Frederick Mershimer and Jackson Lee Nesbitt. We curated museum exhibitions and contributed articles and chapters for various books and journals. In 1996, we collaborated with Carol Wax to curate an exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art on classical and contemporary mezzotints. And we worked with the Newcomb Art Gallery of Tulane University on an exhibition of alumna, Caroline Durieux, and her Latin American associates in From Society to Socialism: The Art of Caroline Durieux.
Then, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, and our lives were interrupted. We were both asked to assume increased responsibilities at Tulane to help the university and the city recover. There was simply no way to continue the gallery at the level we thought essential.
Today, both Tulane and New Orleans are thriving and in 2016, after 40 years of service, we retired from Tulane and had time to think about Stone & Press again.
So here we are. Our journey resumes with this virtual presence, although we can be available by appointment to those who visit New Orleans. We hope to make the site current and interesting in an effort to showcase the appeal of prints to a new audience as well as old friends. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome and appreciated. We invite you to be part of our journey by joining our email list.
Earl Retif and Ann Salzer