Art Talk: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Color Woodcut Technique

July 27, 2021

Conservator and printmaker Christina Taylor demonstrates the color woodcut printing technique German artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner used to create his dynamic 1909 print Bathers Tossing Reeds. Kirchner wrote, “There is no better place to get to know an artist than in his graphic work.” Creating a small reproduction of the work, Taylor examines the details of the print to decode the creative choices the artist pursued or abandoned in each successive step. In doing so, she uncovers the full breadth of Kirchner’s experimentation, demystifying the printmaking terminology and techniques involved. 

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

Work explored:
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, German, Bathers Tossing Reeds, 1909. Woodcut printed in black, green, and red inks on off-white wove paper. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Charles L. Kuhn in memory of Louis W. Black, BR58.190.