Annual general meeting 2021

Association of European Printing Museums

Minutes of the annual general meeting 2021

The Annual General Meeting was held online on Thursday 6 May 2021 at 17:00.

The invitation, sent on 26 March 2021, included online access to all documents and information necessary to prepare for the General Meeting.

1. List of members present

Board of Directors: Stefan Soltek (President, Klingspor Museum, Offenbach, Germany), Zahra Benkass (Secretary General, Atelier-Musée de l’Imprimerie, Le Malesherbois, France), Patrick Goossens (Treasurer, Letter-Kunde, Belgium), Alan Marshall (AEPM webmaster, France), Joost Depuydt (Conference Secretary, Plantin-Moretus Museum, Antwerp, Belgium), Robert Clerebaut (Membership, Belgium), Joseph Belletante (Museum of Printing and Graphic Communication, Lyon, France).

Represented: Pascal Fulacher (Atelier du livre d’art et de l’estampe, Imprimerie Nationale, France)

Excused: Frédéric Terrier (Les mille univers, Bourges, France)

Ordinary members: Jürgen Bönig, Johan de Zoete (Photomechanical processes, Utrecht, The Netherlands), Thomas Gravemaker (LetterpressAmsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Steven Hoskins (Centre for Fine Print Research, Bristol, United Kingdom), Monika Jakobs (Kulturhuef, Musée Luxembourgeois de l’imprimerie et de la carte à jouer, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg), Elia Koumi (Typography Museum, Chania, Greece), Indra Kupferschmidt, HBKsaar (University of Art and Design, Saarbrücken, Germany), Bernard Langlois (Friends of the Museum of Printing and Graphic Communication, Lyon, France), Tomaso Lo Russo, Steen Rønnow (Vingaards Officin – Bogtrykmuseet Viborg, Viborg, Denmark), May Tove Nyrud (Norsk Grafisk Museum, Stavanger, Norway).

Represented: Uwe H. Breker (Auction Team Breker, Germany); Pavel Polreich (National Museum of Technology, Prague, Czech Republic).

The session was chaired by Stefan Soltek.

2. Approval of the minutes of the General Assembly 2020

In the absence of any objections or abstentions, the minutes were approved.

3. Chairman’s report

Stefan Soltek, President of AEPM, opened the meeting and thanked the members present for attending the annual general meeting and the members of the Bureau who had helped to organise it. He reminded the meeting of the difficult context in which museums and cultural venues are currently operating and that there is clearly a pre-Corona and an post-Corona period. Although difficult, such a context must mobilise us to assess the current situation, to reflect on how we can be more inventive and attentive to our teams, our needs, our expectations, and each other’s activities, and to develop links and projects together as members of the same organisation, the AEPM.

This year, the organisation of the AGM and the annual conference is scheduled at a distance. AEPM continues to bring its members together around common issues to exchange, discuss and debate… to maintain the link despite the current health context. In this sense, this year’s annual conference in Offenbach is an opportunity to combine the issues inherent in the history, culture and industry of printing. It consolidates our common interest in communicating this heritage to the public and in developing our collaborations.

The President put to the vote the full written version of his report which had been sent to the members beforehand and which he had just outlined. In the absence of any objections or abstentions, the report was approved.

4. Auditor’s report

A link to the AEPM website was sent out with the invitation to the AGM giving access to the balance sheet of the annual accounts as at 31 December 2020 and to the detailed report of the auditor, Mr Cédric Bergamini of Bureau Darville in Brussels, to the General Assembly of the ASBL Association of European Printing Museums on the annual accounts for the year of income 2020. Both documents have been translated into English this year by the Treasurer, Patrick Goossens, in order to make them accessible to English-speaking members. This translation in no way replaces the French version which remains the only official version. The Treasurer read out the main elements of the financial report and the report on the accounts for the year ended 31 December 2020. He informed the meeting of AEPM’s good financial situation for the year 2020. The cash position (bank account and PayPal account), which was €6,121.48 at the end of 2019, reached a total of €11,076.14 in terms of current assets at the close of the 2020 financial year. However, the association has had less activity due to the pandemic and therefore less expenditure, something that AEPM wishes to remedy in 2021.

In terms of income, AEPM recorded a total of €6,202.63 in membership fees on 31 December 2020.

Several benefactors continue to support AEPM through donations, despite the sensitive context of Covid-19, which has forced them to suspend their activities. We would like to thank them warmly: l’Atelier-Musée de l’imprimerie (J.-P. Maury, le Malesherbois, France); Associazione Italiana dei Musei della stampa, Italy, Le musée Plantin Moretus, Antwerp, Belgium; Les Amis du Musée de l’imprimerie et de la communication graphique, Lyon, France and The Museum of printing (Frank Romano, Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA).

There was a net increase in the Associations resources of 6,382.63 euros.

The main expenses were the purchase of supplies (€77.50), software and computer services (€250.23), followed by accounting fees (€544.50) and domain name hosting fees (€100), for a total of 972,23 €.

Interest, commissions and fees: Paypal fees (€62.20) and bank fees (without VAT: €213.54) represent a total of €275.74

With no objections or abstentions, the auditor’s report was approved.

5. Approval of the accounts for the financial year 2020

With no objections or abstentions, the accounts for the financial year 2020 were approved.

6. Setting of the membership fee for the year 2022

It was proposed that the membership fee for 2022 remain unchanged at €50 for ordinary members and €200 for supporting members.

There being no objections or abstentions, the proposal was approved.

7. Discharge of the auditor for the exercise of his mandate 2020

With no objections or abstentions, the work of the auditor was approved.

8. Renewal of the mandate of the External Auditor

With no objections or abstentions, the renewal of the mandate of the auditor was approved.

9. Discharge of the directors from their mandate for the past financial year

With no objections or abstentions, the work of the members of the Board of Directors was approved.

10. Budget for the current year 2021

The covid-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the annual conference in 2020, which had been planned in Offenbach. Its online planning in 2021 (20-22 May at the Klingspor Museum and the House of Local History Haus der Stadtgeschichte) led to a significant change in the expenditure originally planned for this purpose.

The publication of a selection of talks made during previous conferences, which is currently underway, was budgeted for before 2020.

The 2021 budget will be used in part to develop the association’s website and to help fund the annual conference in 2022.

Two projects are currently under consideration: the first, proposed by Bob Oldham of the Ad Lib Press in Yellow Springs, Ohio (USA), concerns the creation of a database dedicated to hand presses (about 900 presses listed), as an extension of the AEPM website. The second project, suggested by Elia Koumi (Typography Museum, Chania, Greece) aims to create a cultural itinerary of European printing museums, within the framework of the Creative Europe programme, created by the European Commission. This programme aims to promote the cultural and linguistic diversity of the European Union and to strengthen the competitiveness of the cultural and creative sectors. AEPM’s involvement in this programme, through the creation of a cultural itinerary of printing heritage in Europe, would make it possible to promote the transversal circulation of cultural and creative actors (workshops, exchanges of practices, intercultural dialogue, interactions with local communities and audiences, etc.), and consequently give the association’s members greater visibility among a wide audience. The Association’s database and its interactive map of European graphic cultural heritage actors allow it to carry out this project. Nevertheless, more information on the programme is needed at this stage to study its feasibility. Exchanges between Elia Koumi and the AEPM Bureau are to be scheduled to make progress on the subject.

After discussion, it was agreed to stick with these two projects in 2021 in order to increase their chances of success. They have already been examined by the Association’s Bureau and evaluated by the new web designer, Alain Santerre. They should not pose any particular difficulties in terms of cost or feasibility, and will give more visibility to AEPM members.

Alan Marshall took the opportunity to thank, on behalf of the Bureau and the members of AEPM, the outgoing web designer, David Abbott, who has accompanied the association since 2013. He was both responsive very pleasant to work with and provided many solutions to the Board of Directors according to the needs they expressed. Today, he wishes to devote himself to more personal creative projects. We wish him well and welcome his replacement Alain Santerre.

With no objections or abstentions, the 2021 budget was adopted.

11. Approval of the appointment of the members of the Board of Directors

The current members of the Board of Directors, as approved at the meeting of the Bureau on 13 January 2021, are

  • Stefan Soltek (Klingspor Museum, Offenbach, Germany)
  • Alan Marshall (France)
  • Patrick Goossens (Letter-kunde, Antwerp, Belgium)
  • Joseph Belletante (Musée de l’Imprimerie et de la communication graphique, Lyon, France)
  • Zahra Benkass (Atelier-Musée de l’Imprimerie, Le Malesherbois, France)
  • Robert Clerebaut (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Joost Depuydt (Plantin-Moretus Museum, Antwerp, Belgium)
  • Pascal Fulacher (Atelier du Livre d’Art et de l’Estampe / Imprimerie nationale, France)
  • Frédéric Terrier (Les mille univers, Bourges, France).

With no objections or abstentions, the appointment of the Board members was approved.

The question of including members from Spain or Italy on the Board was raised. The Board remains open to all members of the Association who wish to be part of the Board or to assist it.

12. Perspectives and programme of activities for 2021

The perspectives of activities for 2021 correspond to the programmes mentioned in point 9 (Budget for the current year 2021).

13. Future annual conferences

The next AEPM annual conference (2022) will be hosted by the Atelier-Musée de l’Imprimerie (AMI) in Malesherbes (Le Malesherbois), France. The AMI team is pleased to invite AEPM members to meet in May 2022. The theme of the conference will be chosen by the host museum in consultation with the board and will be communicated in due course.

The question was raised as to whether any members would be interested in hosting the 2023 conference. Jürgen Bönig (Germany) and Steve Hoskins (UK) indicated that they are willing to explore possibilities with the organisations with which they are actively collaborating.

The Atelier du livre d’art et de l’Estampe (Imprimerie nationale, Douai, France) is a candidate to host the 2024 conference.

14. Other questions

In response to a question about the possibility of intervening on behalf of museums in distress due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chair of the AEPM confirmed that the association could rather provide intangible support for such problems. However, he felt that the importance of the issue merited consideration at the next Board meeting, in order to examine the means that could be concretely put in place around January 2022 to support museums in need of assistance. It might be necessary to invite museum managers to speak on the issue to discuss the specific nature of the problems encountered in the field and the solutions to be found.

There being no further business, the Chair declared the meeting closed at 6.15 p.m.

Zahra Benkass
AEPM Secretary