Using a Centuries-Old Printmaking Technique to Immortalise a New Museum

By Jordan Kushins on at

Photogravure is a printmaking technique that requires lots of preparation, but the ghostly effect of the finished work is awesome: resembling part etching and charcoal drawing, with the spirit of an antique black-and-white photo.

German photographer Antje Hanebeck used the centuries-old process to capture the I. M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar for Radiant, a new on-site exhibition.

Using A Centuries-Old Printmaking Technique To Immortalize A New Museum

The amount of work that goes into every piece is pretty incredible, and truly hands-on in a way that's all but disappeared in the digital age.

Each image is transferred to a copper plate that's then dusted and engraved, gently cleaned, inked, and pressed. There's fire, water, developing baths, old rags, brushes, and a hand-cranked machine that's bigger than Hanebeck herself.

Using A Centuries-Old Printmaking Technique To Immortalize A New Museum

Using A Centuries-Old Printmaking Technique To Immortalize A New Museum

Once finished, they were handled with white gloves for presentation in a pristinely clean portfolio box designed by Olivier Andreotti.

Using A Centuries-Old Printmaking Technique To Immortalize A New Museum

Using A Centuries-Old Printmaking Technique To Immortalize A New Museum

Using A Centuries-Old Printmaking Technique To Immortalize A New Museum

Using A Centuries-Old Printmaking Technique To Immortalize A New Museum

Using A Centuries-Old Printmaking Technique To Immortalize A New Museum

Using A Centuries-Old Printmaking Technique To Immortalize A New Museum

Using A Centuries-Old Printmaking Technique To Immortalize A New Museum

Makes me want to get my hands dirty and make something. [Museum of Islamic Art]