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Profile profile for boudreauj

Joan Boudreau

Curator of the printing and graphic arts collections
Research Specialties: 
The printing and "Graphic Arts Collection" includes roughly 70,000 artifacts associated with the technology and production of textual and visual culture.
The international printmaking collection includes examples of works on paper—mainly prints produced with relief, intaglio, lithographic, serigraphic, photomechanical and digital means—and tools for their production—blocks, plates, stones, burins, writing materials, and printmaking presses. The works on paper have been collected from many countries and time periods to interpret how prints are made. They include everything from early European engravings to twenty-first century imagery.
The printing and typography collections include textual works on paper, also produced with various printing technologies, and tools for their production, such as printing presses, typesetting machinery, patent models, type matrices, foundry type, wood type, and hand tools. The printing history collection, while working to be more inclusive of the textual products of other countries and communities, is mainly American in manufacture and product.
Also included in the collection are smaller allied trade collections: papermaking, bookbinding, printing for the blind, illustration history.
Boudreau's research specialties in these collections include:
Federal printed imagery of the American West
19th century printing
Civil War field printing
Comic Art
Patent models and the graphic arts
Printing, printmaking, and the natural sciences
American conservation history

"Printing at Home," physical and virtual exhibit, 2018-2020, see Smithsonian Learning Lab virtual exhibit: https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/printing-at-home/L7eBgXaPqEn4nBV1#r/

Book project (working title): Harnessing Mid-Nineteenth Century American Art: Artists and Imagery for the Reports of the United States and Mexican Boundary and Pacific Railroad Surveys

"John Wells: Hand Press Innovator," American Printing History Association website, 2016

"Earth Day & You," NMAH website blog, 2016

"A Press Pass for William Conant Church," American Printing History Association website, 2015

"The book boom: Early bookbinding inventions," NMAN website blog, 2015

"So you want to curate an exhibit about the 1960s?" NMAH website blog, 2014 https://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2014/06/so-you-want-to-curate-an-exhibit-about-the-1960s.html

"The Feather Trade and the American Conservation Movement," a recap for Inside: Vanished Birds of North America, Connect, Smithsonian Libraries, 2014

The Early Sixties: American Culture physical and virtual exhibition, 2014-15 https://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/early-sixties-american-culture

“The Ramage Printing Press: A Confederate Mystery,” NMAH website blog, 2014

“California Mission Postcards,” NMAH website object group, 2014 https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object-groups/california-mission-postcards

Award statement 2014 Wood Engravers’ Network exhibition competition, 2014

Contributing exhibition coordinator Passionate Collectors, The Washington Print Club at 50, 2014

Invention and the Patent Model, physical and virtual exhibition, 2013 https://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/artifact-walls-invention-and-patent-model

"The 'Pony' Press and the Patent Model Collection," NMAH website blog, 2013

“The Portable Press and Field Printing during the American Civil War,” Printing History, July 2012

19th Century Survey Prints (American History web object group) https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object-groups/19th-century-survey-prints

Patent Models: Graphic Arts (American History web object group) https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object-groups/patent-models-graphic-arts

"Research raises questions about Civil War printing blocks," NMAH website blog, 2011 https://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2011/10/during-the-1970s-the-museum-purchased-a-small-collection-of-printing-blocks-purported-to-have-been-used-to-produce-civil-war.html

Keeping History: Plains Indian Ledger Drawings, physical and virtual exhibition 2009 https://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/keeping-history-plains-indian-ledger-drawings

"Printing history and the Intertype linotype machine," NMAH website blog, 2009 https://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2009/04/printing-history-and-the-intertype-linotype-machine.html

Civil War Field Printing, physical and virtual exhibition 2008-2009 https://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/civil-war-field-printing

Picturing Words: The Power of Book Illustrations, physical and virtual exhibition, 2008-2009 https://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/picturing-words-power-book-illustration

“Publishing the U.S. Exploring Expedition: The Fruits of the Glorious Enterprise” Printing History, January 2008.

“Printing Matrices for Narrative of the U.S. Exploring Expedition” (American History web object group) https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object-groups/printing-matrices-for-narrative-of-the-us-exploring-expedition

The Feather Trade and the American Conservation Movement, physical and virtual exhibit 1998 https://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/feather-trade-and-american-conservation-movement

Awards, Honors, and Special Recognition: 

2019-20: American Historical Print Collectors Society matching grant to conserve printing plates for the U.S. Exploring Expedition (1844-70) publications.

2017: Research Opportunities Fund awards for research and training at Rare Book School, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA.

2016: Lemelson Center matching grant – preservation of patent models.

2015: Research Opportunities Fund awards for research and training at Rare Book School, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA.

2014: Research Opportunities Fund award for research and training, NEH-funded graduate-level seminar/institute coordinated by The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

2014: Lemelson Center matching grant – survey for preservation of patent models.

2013: Smithsonian Institution Secretary's Award for Excellence, Collaborative Spirit for participation in the Civil War Book Team.

2012-2019: Merit Awards for Highly Successful or Outstanding Performance (SI, NMAH).

Professional Affiliations: 
American Printing History Association
American Printing History Association, Chesapeake Chapter, DC region
The Printing Historical Society, London, England
The Washington Print Club, Washington, DC
American Historical Print Collectors Society
Organization of American Historians
Western History Association


"John Wells: Hand Press Innovator" American Printing History Association website at: https://printinghistory.org/ 2016

John I. Wells his life, inventions, and letters patent

"A Press Pass for William Conant Church" American Printing History Association website at: https://printinghistory.org/, 2015.

A representation of the story surrounding the press pass printed by the Union Army of the Potomac and assigned to William Conant Church, of the New York Times, in 1862.

"The Feather Trade and the American Conservation Movement" Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Connect (Summer 2014)

Fashion feathers and the part they played in American Conservation history. A short recap of the story told in the physical and virtual exhibit The Feather Trade and the American Conservation Movement, 1998, see: https://americanhistory.si.edu/feather/index.htm.

Item 68, "Printing Presses in Action" Smithsonian Civil War, Inside the National Collection, 2013

A short recap relating to portable printing presses used by Civil War units to produce orders, and other field documents such as the Appomattox parole.

“The Portable Press and Field Printing during the American Civil War" in Printing History (July 2012)

This article discusses the invention, use, and short-lived importance of the American Civil War portable printing press to the armies and navies of the Union and Confederate forces.

"Publishing the U.S. Exploring Expedition: The Fruits of the Glorious Enterprise" in Printing History (January 2008)

This article discusses the Congressional and east coast print production and printing of the volumes describing the findings of the U.S. Exploring Expedition (1838-42).


Item 86, "Woodblock Printing" Smithsonian Civil War, Inside the National Collection, 2013

Woodblocks were used to reproduce illustrations prepared in the field. The illustration for this woodblock was prepared on what is now referred to as Teddy Roosevelt Island on the Potomac River for the New York Illustrated News, ca 1863.

Item 44, The Wartime Patent Office with Pamela M. Henson, Smithsonian Civil War, Inside the National Collection, 2013

A history of the original U.S. Patent Office building and descriptions of a sampling of patent models now represented in the some 10,000 object collection of the National Museum of American History.