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Rosemary Simmons - print pioneer

The Winter 1998 edition of Printmaking Today is the first produced entirely by the new joint editors.
Joseph Winkelman PPRE

Rosemary Simmons has waited to retire until the quarterly was firmly established and wishes that no attention be paid to her going.  In saying farewell, however,   I feel we should recognise her quite extraordinary effort which the creation of this journal represents.

The healthy condition in which she hands over the publication is a great credit to her inspiration and tenacity.   She pursued her singular vision unrelentlessly for more than ten years, to establish an independent, impartial and comprehensive publication specifically for the practice of the graphic arts.  Negotiating her way around seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Rosemary persisted until her goal was achieved.

Funding such an enterprise itself would have defeated any ordinary mortal.    After investing her own money to get matters going, Rosemary persuaded the Henry Moore Foundation to finance the first four issues in 1991. But publication had to be suspended after the first year in spite of the initial appeal of the quarterly because further backing could not be found.   It was fortunate that the scientific publisher, Roger Farrand, generously agreed to become an investor and publisher the following year.  Taking no salary for their labours, together they nurtured significant annual growth of subscriptions until the enterprise was financially viable.

Rosemary continually improved the quality of Printmaking Today, incorporating her new ideas during the very difficult period when her sight became badly impaired by cataracts and her supportive husband, Anthony Christie, passed away. She generated discussion of educational issues, considered all aspects of printmaking from the humblest to the most sophisticated levels, and demonstrated complete openness in treatment of all forms of the art, past , present, and future, without sentiment or partisanship. Most of the burden of writing and all of the editing she carried herself with enthusiasm and determination, sustained  by her admirable goodness of spirit.

To  Rosemary I offer our heartiest congratulations for what she has achieved and thank her kindly for giving us Printmaking Today.  It is sure to thrive and her enormous contribution will not be forgotten.

Joseph Winkelman PPRE

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