Michael Sims established The Lawrence Lithography Workshop in 1979 in Lawrence, Kansas as a contract printing and teaching facility for local and regional artists. It provided a place where artists with little or no printmaking experience could collabroate with a master printer to produce original lithographs. It was one of the very few independent presses in the Midwest. Over time, the workshop expanded its operation beyond contract printing for local artists to an increased emphasis on publishing regional and national artists. Today most projects are done on an invitational basis with TLLW acting as the primary publisher or co-publisher, though contract printing remains a significant part of the business.

Outside the Lawrence, KS location

Sims received his M.F.A. in printmaking in 1971 from Ohio University and began teaching lithography and drawing at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He has also taught at Western Michigan University, Centro de Ensenafzua Graficas (Center for the Study of Graphic Arts) in Caracas, Venezuela and Western New Mexico University. In 1978, he left KU to work as an assistant at Landfall Press in Chicago. Sims returned to Lawrence the following year with a number of lithographic stones and a small antique Fuchs & Lang press. Those tools, along with the support of area artists and friends, prompted him to set up shop at 7 East Seventh Street, where the workshop operated and grew for eighteen years. In 1997 Sims closed the shop in Lawrence and moved the facility to Sunland Park, New Mexico; one more move in 2001 relocated the shop to its current location in Kansas City, Missouri. This 3600 sq. ft. facility boasts a large press room with 2 electric flatbed lithography presses and an etching press, a 465 sq. ft. gallery, and abundant storage and office space.

Inside the current press room