Art Talk: Edvard Munch’s Jigsaw Woodcut Technique

August 17, 2021

Conservator and printmaker Christina Taylor demonstrates the jigsaw woodcut printing technique that artist Edvard Munch used to create two colorful prints titled Woman’s Head against the Shore (1899). 

These prints will be on view at the Harvard Art Museums in the exhibition States of Play: Prints from Rembrandt to Delsarte (September 4, 2021–January 2, 2022). By decoding creative choices that the artist pursued or abandoned in each successive step, the exhibition helps uncover the full breadth of experimentation and demystifies printmaking terminology and techniques. 

Led by:
Christina Taylor, Assistant Paper Conservator, Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies 

Works explored:
Edvard Munch, Norwegian, Woman’s Head against the Shore, 1899. Woodcut printed in turquoise-green and pale and dark orange ink on off-white wove paper. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Lynn G. Straus in memory of Philip A. Straus, 2021.261. © The Munch Museum/The Munch-Ellingsen Group/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Edvard Munch, Norwegian, Woman’s Head against the Shore, 1899. Woodcut printed in red and three different colors of green ink on tan wove paper. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Lynn G. Straus in memory of Philip A. Straus, 2021.272. © The Munch Museum/The Munch-Ellingsen Group/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.