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A vintage entomological illustration featuring a collection of meticulously detailed insects, including butterflies, a dragonfly, and beetles, with the artist's signature and the year 1680.
New Rotation

Human/Nature: Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints

Through September 24
Free with Museum admission

The Department of Drawings and Prints boasts more than one million drawings, prints, and illustrated books made in Europe and the Americas from around 1400 to the present day. Because of their number and sensitivity to light, the works can only be exhibited for a limited period and are usually housed in on-site storage facilities. To highlight the vast range of works on paper, the department organizes four rotations a year in the Robert Wood Johnson, Jr. Gallery. Each installation is the product of a collaboration among curators and consists of up to 100 objects grouped by artist, technique, style, period, or subject. Featuring works on paper from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century, this rotation traces artists’ perceptions of human society, the natural world, and interactions between the two.

Human nature is examined through a group of Netherlandish prints illustrating proverbs, while notions of family and artistic kinship frame a selection of works by seventeenth-century French printmaker Claudine Bouzonnet Stella. The complex relationship between animal and human qualities is explored via Eugène Delacroix’s depictions of lions.

Other works on view reveal humans acting on their environments, as in representations of building activities in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy. Natural history drawings of shells, flowers, and insects, as well as cut-paper collages of plant life, show how artists both carefully studied nature and attempted to control or possess it. Finally, the assertion of nature and its impact on humanity is registered by groupings of seascapes and prints depicting flooding in the United States over the past two hundred years.



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Marquee: Nina Jordan (American, born 1964). Untitled, Flooded Home V, 2021. Color woodcut, 11 1/2 in. × 18 in. (29.2 × 45.7 cm). Gift of Katherine Beinecke Michel, 2023 (2023.176.2) © 2021 Nina Jordan

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Dates
Through September 24
Free with Museum admission
A vintage entomological illustration featuring a collection of meticulously detailed insects, including butterflies, a dragonfly, and beetles, with the artist's signature and the year 1680.