Jack W. Stauffacher

American (San Francisco, California, 1920)

A self-taught printer, book designer, and craftsman, Jack Stauffacher has fostered a lifelong fascination with the craft of printing. He was only 16 years old when he established the Greenwood Press in 1936 in a small building behind his family's house in San Mateo, California, and he had published a number of volumes by his late twenties.

In 1955 Stauffacher won a Fulbright grant to study for three years in Florence, Italy. There he met Giovanni Mardersteig and Alberto Tallone, who inspired Stauffacher's deep interest in historic printing techniques and their relationship to place. He returned to the United States to teach at the Carnegie Institute of Technology before moving back to California to become typographic director at Stanford University Press.

Since the 1960s Stauffacher has been experimenting with repetitive inking techniques, all the while exploring the ways in which the mind, hand, type, ink, and paper come together. These explorations allow him to leave behind the rigidity and precision of traditional typography and embrace the medium's potential for randomness and spontaneity.

From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.

In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify artwork details.

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