Sticking pieces of paper onto another piece of paper is something that people have probably done for a long time. In the 20th century, it became an art form.

This collage is by Robert Motherwell. It’s called the Redness of Red. Found here.

Picasso had a big hand in getting collage some respect beside paintings. Above is from 1912, found here.

Georges Braque started his artful sticking at about the same time as Picasso. From here.

Matisse started cutting paper instead of painting because he was bed ridden, and today these modest pieces are much loved and valued. This from the Tate is called the Snail.

Victor Passmore paved the way for collage in England in 1949. From the Tate again.

Richard Hamilton was one of many English artists of the 1960’s and 70’s who pumped new life into the technique. This one from 1964. Go back to the Tate for the original

Robert Rauschenberg made this for Jasper Johns in 1962.

You can get into the act too–you just need scissors, a magazine or catalogue, maybe wrapping paper, maybe just coloured paper, maybe stamps, and some glue. I confess, that’s the way I make cards for people I know.

That’s a Christmas card I made. If you have magazines, scissors, and a glue stick, you’re in business. Give it a shot.

If you’re keen to try and you want instruction, English artist Peter Blake has a collage kit sold through the Tate Gallery. He knows how to do it; he did this:

And he also did the cover for an album of music by an English band.