Iowa Women's Archives
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa



PAPERS, 1972-2002
9 linear inches


Iowa Women's Archives
100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

Phone: 319-335-5068
Fax: 319-335-5900
E-mail the Iowa Women's Archives

Collection Overview

The papers (donor no.648 ) were donated by Virginia Myers in 2000 and subsequent years..
The papers are open for research.
Copyright has been retained by the donor for the Invention Book, Volumes 1 and 2.
Two videocassettes [V288-V289]
In Box 3.
Processed by:
Lori Munz, 2000, Nickol Himschoot, 2004. [MyersVirginia.doc]


Virginia A. Myers was born in Greencastle, Indiana in 1927 and grew up in Cleveland Ohio. She is an artist, professor, and inventor. Myers earned a B.A. in Drawing and Painting from George Washington University and the Corcoran School of Art, Washington, D.C. Then, in 1951 she went on to earn an M.F.A. in Painting from The California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland. Myers completed additional graduate work at the University of Illinois ( Urbana) and in 1955 came to the University of Iowa to study printmaking with Mauricio Lasansky. From 1961-1962, Myers studied in Paris under a Fulbright Scholarship. In 1962 Myers became a University of Iowa faculty member, where she teaches printmaking in the School of Art and Art History. Myers has presented in more than eighty-five one-person shows in the United States and has participated in more than 150 juried exhibitions and traveling shows nationally and internationally.

In 1983 Myers began researching the use of gold leaf and foil in the printmaking process. She discovered that foil was not being used by artisans in the fine arts because the foiling process was strictly commercial. Her dissatisfaction with foiling options available to printmakers led her to invent the Iowa Foil Press, a device that allows individual artists to incorporate foil stamping into their work. After the invention of the press, she worked in conjunction with community members and students to improve and document the printmaking process of foil stamping using the Iowa Foil Press and they collectively produced a book, Foil Imaging...A New Art Form.

Scope and Content Note

The Virginia A. Myers papers date from 1972 to 2002 and measure 9 linear inches. The papers deal primarily with the Iowa Foil Printer invented by Myers and the subsequent process of foil printing.

A succession of brochures dating from 1991-2002 provides information about the annual Intensive Workshop in Foil Stamping. Most of the correspondence is within the research scrapbooks. Other correspondence includes several letters of congratulations on Myers’ press invention. Newspaper clippings about the Iowa Foil Press, foil printing workshops, and Virginia Myers are also included. There are two manuals, created by Myers, about the press and the foil printing process. The Owner’s Manual provides operating instructions for the Iowa Foil Printer. Creating Original Prints with Hot Stamped Foil and the Iowa Foil Printer is a studio manual written by Myers and several of her first year students about the foil printing process.

Research Notebooks titled The Iowa Foil Printer and How It Came To Be, Volumes 1 and 2, track Myers’ invention of the Iowa Foil Printer through correspondence, drawings, diagrams, photographs, and logs of her meetings and experimentation that led to the development of the Iowa Foil Printer. The research notebooks provide insight into the processes behind the development of the Iowa Foil Press, as well as her interactions with the people who helped her create a working prototype.

In 2001 following the publication of Foil Imaging...A New Art Form a formal presentation of the book was held in the University of Iowa Art Museum. There are two videos of this event, one unedited and one edited version.

Related Collections

The Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project.
This collection includes an oral history interview with Virginia Myers conducted by Jane Robinette in August 1999. Additional information can be found at the Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project webpage

Box List

Box 1

The Iowa Foil Printer and How It Came To Be, Volume 1, 1983-1988

Box 2

The Iowa Foil Printer and How It Came To Be, Volume 2, 1988-1991

Box 3

Biographical Material
Correspondence, 1993-2001
Foil Imaging: A New Art Form [Folio NE1863.H67]
Owners Manual
Studio Manual
Newspaper Clippings, 1972-1998
Photographs, 1990
The Gala Presentation, Unedited 2001 [V289]
The Gala Presentation, Edited 2001 [V288]

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For more information about this collection contact the Iowa Women's Archives.


Last updated June 2, 2004 (jw).