Skip to main content


Showing posts from September 10, 2017

Phyllis Cohen - Virginia Master Printmaker

Phyllis Cohen, illustrating her “jigsaw puzzle” printing process at the press, 2012
Photo from Printmakers, Inc.

I arrived in northern Virginia in the early 1980s, at that time the Torpedo Factory Art Center at the end of King Street, Old Town Alexandria was filled with 80 studios and the Art League School, as it still is today.  I had a professional design degree and worked as a designer for the Federal Government.  During my free weekends I would venture down to the Torpedo Factory to see what these artists were creating.  I remember that there were numerous printmakers and I loved looking at their work.

One such artist was the master printmaker, Phyllis Cohen.  As she tells the story from many interviews, Marian Van Landingham, an artist and politician was the ringleader that started the concepts of getting the Torpedo Factory established.  She roped in other artists to clean up this 1918 Navy building that was used for making torpedo shell casings and other weapons.  Once the art f…