In 1997, the Hannaher’s, Inc. Print Studio at Plains Art Museum was conceived as a unique blending of old and new. A place to preserve, exhibit, collect, and create art and art-making techniques, the studio is intended to inspire people by acknowledging the rich history of printmaking while exploring its future.
In 1998, funding for the print studio was secured through a variety of donors including the Hannaher family of Fargo, N.D., Burlington Northern, The Stern Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation. The studio was constructed during the phased development of Plains Art Museum as a professional studio to be staffed by a trained technician who would produce fine, original prints and oversee the maintenance of equipment.
In 1999 the first studio technician was hired to oversee operations at the Print Studio. Over time, a professional residency program was developed where a master printer would come to work at the Print Studio as a visiting artist in residence. These visiting artists created a series of fine prints to add to the Plains Art Museum’s already growing print collection as well as to demonstrate printing techniques through a series of lectures, classes and seminars. In 2005, the Print Studio was closed due to the high cost of the program.
In the fall of 2007, the Hannaher’s, Inc. Print Studio was re-opened to the public on a limited basis through a collaboration of Plains Art Museum and The Art Department at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Since that time, it has been used as a space for advanced printmaking students from MSUM to develop and print their own work, surrounded by the rich collection of fine prints available at the Plains Art Museum. The students discuss their work and printing processes with museum visitors during Open Hours, an important skill for many of them as they continue their studies in graduate school or enter the art field where they need the skills to talk about their work. The Museum also hopes that this interaction between students and museum visitors will demystify some of the printmaking processes and generate interest in the production of fine, original prints in the public.