Revealing the Truth About Giclees

"Inkjet" is a pedestrian name for an art print so it did not get much traction among art buyers. A small group who recognized the word was a barrier to selling inkjet prints as art prints formed the "International Association of Fine Art Digital Printmakers" and decided on the word "gicleé" as a substitute for inkjet. I was a late member of this society. It vanished soon after I joined. Its mission accomplished, it was no longer needed. 

I must hastily point out that all inkjet printing machines are not created equal. The significant elements of printers capable of creating gicleés are these: 

1. They are capable of printing in high resolutions. 

2. They can print on heavyweight papers. 

3. They use more than four print-heads and inks. 

4. The inks and papers are of archival quality. 

Much has happened with computers and printers in the last few years. The first desktop ink-jet printers used only black ink. They used only one ink cartridge. 

Creating pictures on a computer was primitive in those days too. The computer was like having a very expensive, electronic etch-a-sketch, but that did not stop some of us who were mesmerized by the possibilities looming ahead though. 

We saw desktop computing as a new medium, a new tool, in some ways not unlike the Zerox machine or Polaroid camera. It provided a different way to create images. 

The quality soon became good enough that galleries and buyers were adding gicleé prints to their collections. Giclee prints now can be found in notable collections in these museums (among many others) -- 

• The Louvre Museum in Paris 

• The Smithsonian 

• The British Museum 

• The Washington Post collection 

• The New York Public Library 

• The Philadelphia Museum of Art 

• The New York Metropolitan Museum 

• The National Art Museum 

• The San Francisco Museum of 

• The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art 


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