The Printing Museum was founded as the Museum of Printing History in 1979 by Raoul Beasley, Vernon P. Hearn, Don Piercy, and J. V. Burnham, four Houston printers with passions for preserving their vast collections and sharing them with the community. It was chartered in 1981 and had its official opening in 1982 with Dr. Hans Halaby, Director of the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany, cutting the ribbon. With the changing nature of printing in the 21st century, the Museum’s mission to promote, preserve, and share the knowledge of printed communication and art is more relevant today than ever before.
The Printing Museum actively collects objects that enable the museum to display and interpret the cultural significance of the history, technology, and art of printing. Through the exhibition of its permanent collection, the Printing Museum narrates the story of written communication and the ways in which the technologies of printing have transformed our lives. Our galleries trace significant developments from the Chinese invention of movable type, to a replica of Johann Gutenberg’s printing press, to a 19th century Cranston newspaper press and a working Linotype machine. Artifacts in the collection reflect the beginning of printing in Europe and illustrate printing of the Renaissance, through the 21st century.
Each year, the Printing Museum presents a vibrant program of rotating exhibitions, educational tours, and workshops. Rotating exhibitions highlight the historical and contemporary aspects of printing and printmaking. Guided tours introduce visitors to the permanent collection and include hands-on printing on period presses. To further promote the history and significance of printing, the Printing Museum offers a year round schedule of workshops in letterpress printing, lithography, bookbinding, papermaking, silkscreen, and various arts of the book.
Support from the printing industry over the last 30 years has been instrumental in making the museum what it is today. It is only through community partnerships that the Printing Museum may continue to advance its educational mission to preserve the knowledge and appreciation of printed communication and the fine art of printing for future generations.
Please visit the museum’s website at www.printingmuseum.org to learn more about support opportunities, which include memberships, corporate sponsorships, memorial contributions, and giving to special initiatives such as the Bader Type Collection Fund and the Harry Benson Education Fund.
We also depend upon the printing industry to develop the permanent collection, which continues to grow both in quality and importance because of generous donors who want to preserve their valuable artifacts and make them available for others. Please get in touch if you have historical printing artifacts or reference materials, in good condition. We would love to hear from you!
The Printing Museum
1324 W. Clay St.
Houston, Texas 77019