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SAGA Award Winners Spotlight with Dr. Emily J. Peters

June 21, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


This summer, the Artists Archives is thrilled to host a Fine Print Exhibition featuring the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA), one of the nation’s oldest organizations dedicated to creative printmaking. Based in New York City, SAGA was founded in 1915 to promote the advancement of the graphic arts. Over their 108-year history, they have exhibited such preeminent modern artists as Henri Matisse, Mary Cassatt, Käthe Kollwitz, Joseph Pennell, and Pablo Picasso, and continue to count some of the world’s most accomplished printmakers among their ranks.


On Wednesday, June 21st, 7:00pm – 8:00pm, join Dr. Emily J. Peters, Cleveland Museum of Art’s Curator of Prints and Drawings, as she discusses her selections for the SAGA Fine Print Exhibition Awards. Sponsored by the prestigious Print Club of Cleveland, the awards recognize four artists for their technical prowess and innovation out of the 50 renowned printmakers whose work is on display. Featured creators include Cindi Ford (Grand Rapids, MI), Jayne Reid Jackson (Madison, WI), Karen Whitman (Woodstock, NY) and Merle Perlmutter (New Rochelle, NY).


During the hour-long virtual program, Dr. Peters will lead the artists in a discussion which not only delves into the story behind their award-winning pieces, but also explores the process and the impressive array of printmaking techniques employed in their creation.


While the work varies widely in subject matter, the artists are united by their passion for the medium and their mastery of the form. As artist Karen Whitman explains, “The physicality and rigor of carving and printing reminds me daily of the hard work and patience it takes to accomplish most anything meaningful. I am also determined in this world of push-button images and shortcuts of convenience, to keep the tradition of making hand-pulled prints alive, as they enhance the richness of the experience of appreciating art ~ and of being a human being.”


Dr. Peters and the artists will be joined by President of SAGA, Diego Briceno, who will share the history and mission of the organization, as well as by Exhibition Juror, Mindy Tousley, who will provide fascinating insight on her choices for the show. The program will be held exclusively on Zoom and will conclude with a live audience Q&A.


  • A black and white image of a piano lurching forward out of a series of contorted hallways. In one room, the side of a person at a desk
    Merle Perlmutter, Taking Notes, 1/1, Assembled etching & soft ground, 1st Place SAGA Fine Print Exhibition


Dr. Emily J. Peters. A light-skinned woman with shoulder length hair brown hair and a gray patterned top with her arms crossed standing in front of a bookcase

Dr Emily J Peters, Image Courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art

About Awards Juror/Discussion Moderator Dr. Emily J. Peters: Dr. Emily J. Peters joined the Cleveland Museum of Art as Curator of Prints and Drawings in 2017. She has organized numerous exhibitions featuring the museum’s collection of prints and drawings, such as Ashcan School Prints and the American City, 1900–1940 (2021); Who RU2 DAY: Mass Media and the Fine Art Print (2019); and Graphic Discontent: German Expressionism on Paper (2018); and loan exhibitions, including Tales of the City: Drawing in the Netherlands from Bosch to Bruegel (2022), a collaboration with the Albertina Museum, Vienna, and Michelangelo: Mind of the Master (2019), a collaboration with the Teylers Museum in Haarlem and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Peters edited and authored catalogues for both Tales of the City (with Laura Ritter) and Michelangelo (with Julian Brooks). Peters’s publications investigate works on paper made by European artists of the early modern period as well as the relationships between printed images and public spectacle in the 16th century and include articles on Jan Gossaert, Diana Mantuana, Rembrandt van Rijn, engraving technique, and joyous entry processions in Antwerp. Peters complements her curatorial work by supervising graduate fellows and teaching in the museum’s joint program in art history with Case Western Reserve University and by serving one of the museum’s affiliate groups, the Print Club of Cleveland.

Before joining the museum, Peters was associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, where she organized more than 15 exhibitions, among which a highlight was the 2010 exhibition and catalogue The Brilliant Line: Following the Early Modern Engraver. Peters holds an MA and a PhD in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a BA in art history from the University of Michigan. She held a predoctoral Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellowship in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a Belgian American Educational Foundation Fellowship for doctoral research in Belgium.


June 21, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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