History of the Peregrine Press
In the fall of 1991, a group of artists interested in printmaking met to explore the possibility of establishing a cooperative press in Portland, Maine. From these initial meetings between Alice Spencer, Kate Mahoney, Lin Lisberger and others sprang an organization of artists with a common goal, to have a cooperative printmaking studio in Portland, Maine. A place to work was the first consideration, and, after much searching, modest studio space became available in Portland's Munjoy Hill neighborhood. The new press needed a name. The Peregrine Falcon, came to mind. The word Peregrine means wanderer, and the Peregrine Falcon has one of the longest migrations of any North American bird. The Peregrine is a swift flier. During its spectacular hunting stoop from heights of over a half mile the Peregrine may reach speeds of 200 mph as it drops toward its prey. This magnificent soaring bird suggested a fine image for the new studio and Peregrine Press took off.
- In 1991 Peregrine Press was founded as a non-profit, fine arts printmaking cooperative in Portland, Maine. Peregrine Press is the only such cooperative in Maine, and among the few cooperatives of its kind in the nation.
- In 1995 Peregrine Press purchased an American French Tool Press with a bed size of 30" X 50".
- In 1996 the Press moved from Munjoy Hill to expanded facilities in The Bakery Building at 61 Pleasant Street, formerly the Calderwood Building of Maine College of Art (MECA). This former MECA printmaking studio has been adapted to the needs of the Peregrine members, and includes a separate room for etching, aquatint processes and a photo intaglio darkroom. The larger space also allowed the Press to expand its membership.
- In 2003 the Peregrine Press Kate Mahoney Memorial Fund was established in honor of founding member Kate Mahoney Curtsinger who died June 10, 2003 after a seven year battle with breast cancer.
- In 2004 the Peregrine Press Annual Scholarship Award was established to honor two former members who died of breast cancer, Kate Mahoney Curtsinger and Marcia M. Carner. The scholarship is a years membership in Peregrine Press. It is awarded in alternate years to a graduating student from Maine College of Art and the University of Southern Maine in the printmaking department who shows promise in the field of printmaking. The 2004/2005 recipient was Deb Schmitt from Maine College of Art's class of 2004. The 2005/2006 recipient was Pamela Tachibana of USM. The 2006/2007 recipient is Martha Miller from MECA.
- In 2004 Peregrine Press added a photo intaglio component to the studio with the renovation of a MECA donated enlarger which was re-configured into a photo light source. Several members, notably Anne Garland, framed and built the walls and ceiling for a new darkroom now used to expose and process photo plates for printing.
- In January of 2006 Peregrine Press completed the purchase and acquisition of a 2nd American French Tool Press built by Conrad Press with a bed size of 36" X 18".