The Founding of AHPCS

The Beginning

In June 1973, two Currier & Ives collectors, Ladd MacMillan and Ewell L. Newman, began working on “A Guide to Collecting Currier & Ives.” Ladd and Ewell so enjoyed the process of sharing knowledge about American prints that they decided to publish a press release in a number of antiques journals asking for interest in “Creating a circle of fellowship among those who collect and treasure these pictorial records of our early republic.” They received over 200 responses. Ladd and Ewell invited these respondents to attend a founding meeting held June 6-7, 1975, at the Heritage Plantation in Sandwich, Massachusetts. About 80 people participated. During the meeting, provisional by-laws were created, a slate of officers elected, and the annual membership fee set at $20 per household. Those attendees who paid dues became the founding members of the American Historical Print Collectors Society. Ewell later remembered, “The long-time dream of our first President, Ladd MacMillan, and my own dream of a nation-wide fellowship of American historical print collectors now was a reality.”

AHPCS Founding Members

Dr. & Mrs. Alexander Altschuller
Dr. & Mrs. Henry A. Boorse
Mr. & Mrs. Ronald P. Burrows
Richard F. Casten
Mr. & Mrs. Herbert Lawrence Coggins
Dr. & Mrs. Harte C. Crow
Mr. & Mrs. Francis W. Dolloff
Mr. & Mrs. John E. Ebert
Mr. & Mrs. Charles W. Evilsizor
Mr. & Mrs. Milton L. Glass
Mr. & Mrs. Jack Golden
Mrs. George S. Graham, Jr. 
Samuel E. Hill
Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Lamb
Mr. & Mrs. David Larson
Dr. & Mrs. Raymond E. Larson
Mr. & Mrs. Paul W. Levengood
Dr. S. Arthur Localio
Joseph D. McDonald
Mr. & Mrs. Frederick J. McGowan
John M. McLean
Mr. & Mrs. Ladd MacMillan
George Michael
Mr. & Mrs. Ewell L. Newman
Cyrus T. Plough
Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Roberts
Mrs. Raymond A. Ruge
Mrs. Fred J. Sheppard, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. William F. Stickle
Mr. & Mrs. Edward C. Stotesbury
Dr. & Mrs. Vincent Stravino
Mr. & Mrs. Clayton M. Timmons
Mr. & Mrs. W. E. West

 

The Early Years

Following the success of the Sandwich meeting, AHPCS leadership began planning the first official annual meeting for the next spring. On April 22-23, 1976, over 100 print collectors, dealers, and museum curators met at the Sheraton-Park Plaza Hotel in New Haven, Connecticut. The members who had joined between June 7, 1975, and April 22, 1976, became the Charter Members of AHPCS.  View a list of the AHPCS Charter Members.

Two publications were soon established: a scholarly journal, Imprint (with the first issue appearing in February 1976), and the AHPCS News Letter, which first reached members in February 1977.

In the early decades, the Society initiated programs to supplement the knowledge shared through its print publications, including hands-on workshops, regional meetings, and participation in public exhibitions. The first AHPCS-sponsored exhibition was displayed at the Morristown National Historical Park in Morristown, Jersey, in 1979 and featured prints on the life of George Washington. 

Leadership

Presidents of AHPCS
June 1975 – June 1977Ladd MacMillan
June 1977 – June 1979Henry A. Boorse
June 1979 – June 1981David L. Larson
June 1981 – June 1984Eugene C. Worman, Jr.
June 1984 – June 1987Ruth Alden Graham
June 1987 – June 1990Marshall R. Berkoff
June 1990 – June 1991Robert Braun
June 1991 – June 1992Eugene C. Worman, Jr.
June 1992 – June 1995Milton A. Wohl
June 1995 – June 1998Georgia B. Barnhill
June 1998 – June 2001Wendy Shadwell
June 2001 – June 2004Greg Walla 
June 2004 – June 2007Donald C. O’Brien 
June 2007 – June 2010Brian Oickle
June 2010 – June 2013John Zak
June 2013 – June 2016Robert Newman
June 2016 – June 2019Lauren B. Hewes
June 2019 – June 2021Nancy Finlay