Saturday, 27 August 2011

Prints that Travel

An interesting conundrum was highlighted in a comment by The Linosaurus on my Sidonius Schrom posting. He wondered "how these very typical Austrian prints came to the UK" whilst they are "very sought after and highly collectable in Austria"

In my travels I come across quite a few small scale pictures of Alpine and Tyrolean views including woodblocks and linocuts, although not always by artists that currently have a following or a commercial value. I think these must have been a superior grade of tourist souvenir and possibly the reason they are now sought after locally is that so many were taken out of their home region that they are now rarely seen in their area of origin. 

I guess these works of art came from a period when such travels were costly and only the wealthy could afford the expense. Perhaps these wealthy travellers were unlikely to be satisfied with usual tourist trivia such as a postcard or a doll in traditonal dress ?? So bought affordable art to remind them of their holiday.

Also perhaps the same is true for artists that had a local market but a limited export or wider international following. If a large proportion of works were sold locally and remained locally then it would perhaps follow that there would be little local interest as they are common, which would in turn restrict their values. I would suggest an artist like Ernst Rotteken as an example. Plenty of excellent woodblock prints still to be found for sale in his home Detmold area.
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