Magnolia Editions

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Magnolia Editions (aka Magnolia Tapestry Project and Magnolia Press) is a fine art studio in Oakland, California.[1] Founded in 1981, Magnolia Editions publishes fine art projects, including unique and editioned works on paper, artist books, and public art. The studio includes facilities for etching/intaglio printing as well as digital printing onto substrates such as gessoed panel, glass, leather, plexiglas, aluminum, or raw linen. Several artists have worked at Magnolia to realize major commissions for the San Francisco International Airport and the Oakland International Airport.[2] Other recent projects have incorporated a mix of traditional and digital techniques, such as a digital photogravure method in which a 'resist' is digitally printed on an etching plate, developed by Magnolia Editions director Donald Farnsworth,[3] and projects which merge painting and printmaking by printing acrylic color over hand-painted, three-dimensional textures.[4]

Primarily a printmaking studio, since the 1990s Magnolia Editions has also gained a reputation for its tapestry editions. A set of proprietary color matching techniques developed by Farnsworth based on his years of printmaking experience are used to digitally direct electronic looms at a mill in Belgium, putting an industrial technology in the service of fine artists.[5] Magnolia has published Jacquard tapestry editions by artists such as Chuck Close,[6] Alex Katz, Masami Teraoka, Ed Moses, Leon Golub, Hung Liu, Enrique Chagoya, Bruce Conner, and Nancy Spero, among others. Each tapestry work typically contains 17,800 warp threads and 8 groups of repeating colors.[7] Magnolia Editions tapestries have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the White Cube Gallery in London.[8][9]


In August 2011 Magnolia Editions published "Sacred Pine," an open edition print sold as a fundraiser for nonprofits helping to rebuild Japan after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and trying to eliminate nuclear power plants located on fault lines in California.[10]

In September 2012 Magnolia Editions published two tapestry editions and three print editions by Chuck Close depicting President Barack Obama. The first tapestry was unveiled at the Mint Museum in North Carolina in honor of the Democratic National Convention. These tapestries and prints were sold as a fundraiser to support the Obama Victory Fund. A number of the works were signed by both Close and Obama.[11][12]


The following is a partial list of artists whose work has been published by Magnolia Editions:


  1. ^ "Tapestry of Imagination." Hennig, Wanda. Oakland Magazine. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
  2. ^ San Francisco Airport Commission Notes. March 18, 2008. Retrieved 2009-5-3.
  3. ^ "Direct to Plate Photogravure: Catching Up With the Past." Stone, Nick. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
  4. ^ "Trip to Berkeley, Magnolia Editions" Dove, Jan. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
  5. ^ "Magnolia Tapestry Project." Paglia, Michael. Denver Arts. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
  6. ^ Finch, Christopher (2007). Chuck Close: Work. Prestel. pp. 286–288. ISBN 978-3-7913-3676-3. 
  7. ^ "Capital Roundup." artnet Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-04-09.
  8. ^ "White Cube--Family and Others." Retrieved 2009-04-13.
  9. ^ Sheets, Hilarie M. "Looms with a View." Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  10. ^ "Tsunami Relief Print Edition: Sacred Pine." Press Release. Retrieved on 2011-08-03.
  11. ^ "You Can Buy Chuck Close's Tapestry Portrait of Barack Obama for $100,000" Retrieved on 2013-02-13.
  12. ^ "Chuck Close, President Obama, and an Art Sale" Retrieved on 2013-02-13.

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