Kokomo-Howard County Public Library

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library has five pieces of Harris “Misch” Kohn’s work, including “Tiger,” a wood engraving (1949); “The Cello Player,” a lithograph (1940); “Dark Bird,” an etching (1970); “A Friend of the Family,” a lithograph (1965); and “Letter From Japan,” mixed media (1983). He uses as many as three printmaking techniques for some of these works making them creative and innovative.

He worked in relief printing, woodcuts, wood engravings, linocuts, Intaglio printing, engravings, drypoint engravings, etchings, aquatint, sugar-lift ground aquatint, lithography, serigraphy, monoprints, monotypes, chine-collé, and rainbow-roll. He also developed ways to improve the techniques he used. For example, he created a special recipe for a sugar-syrup based lift-ground used in aquatint etchings. Sugar-lift ground aquatint is used when an artist wants to draw directly on the plate that will be used for printing. He was the first to use chine collé, or pieces of thin colored paper glued onto works as backgrounds for prints, as a main component of the images, rather than as accents. Sometimes Kohn added other materials, including letters, labels, and prints, in his work.

Misch Kohn sought new techniques and developed his own to gain more control over how he could express his vision through printmaking. “Sometimes artists find a style or imagery that works for them, and they stick with it their whole career. Misch wasn’t like that,” says Jo Farb Hernández. “He continuously explored. He was self-taught in just about every one of the printmaking media he explored. He really pushed the boundaries of those media, and was an amazing innovator. He is credited with reinvigorating American printmaking after World War II.”



220 N. Union St., Kokomo, IN 46901