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L. Elizabeth Upper Awarded the 2014 Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship

2014 Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship Committee Report

I would like to thank my fellow committee members: Hosea Baskin, antiquarian bookseller of Northampton, Massachusetts; and Richenda Brim, a librarian at the Getty Research Institute and a letterpress printer, for their good work. There was a strong field of proposals, and diverging opinions on the committee, but one proposal strongly appealed to all three of us. The 2014 Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship is awarded to Elizabeth Upper for her proposal, “The Earliest Artifacts of Color Printing: Early Modern Frisket Sheets, c.1490-c.1620.”

Those of you who were present bright and early at the APHA conference on color last October will remember Elizabeth’s stunning talk on color printing before 1600, which showed, among other things, that there was much more of it than we were aware of. In that talk, she also discussed preliminary findings regarding some recently discovered early frisket sheets used in color printing. In her young scholar talk at the Bibliographical Society of America [January 24], she filled in details as far as she could.

The APHA Fellowship funds will be used to support travel to visit the two dozen or so friskets (ca.1480-ca.1630) she has learned of scattered around the UK, France and Switzerland. Direct visual analysis will help her determine what texts they were used to print, and the texts in whose bindings they survived the centuries – the glossiness of the deeply textured crust of printing ink makes it almost impossible to take photographs usable for this kind of analysis. The Fellowship will also support costs of permission fees and official photography for the article she will write, which will be submitted to Printing History.

Awarded the PhD from Cambridge for her thesis Printing Colour in the Age of Dürer: ‘Chiaroscuro’ Woodcuts in the German-Speaking Lands, 1487-ca. 1600, she is now a fellow in the Photographic Collection of the Warburg Institute, University of London; she also will have a post-doctoral fellowship at the Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbüttel, Germany) April-June 2014.

Her recommendations for the Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship were particularly strong. “It is typical of Elizabeth,” one reads, “that she should be able to make a real advance in our understanding of printing techniques on the basis of close visual analysis, compendious knowledge and a very large amount of hard work.”

The Fellowship committee believes that APHA will in future be proud to have helped this young scholar of printing early in what looks to be an illustrious career.