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 one hundred objects grouped by artist, technique, style, period, or subject.
During the celebration of the Museum's 150th anniversary, the Department of Drawings and Prints will present four thematic installations that take an in-depth look at the fabric of its collections. This installation is devoted to several transformative gifts made by passionate collectors who focused their attention on specific artists, schools, or genres.
The display includes works from the modern and contemporary print collections given by Leslie and Johanna Garfield; William S. Lieberman; and Florence and Joseph Singer. Silhouettes bequeathed by Mary Martin, a collector of cut-paper works, and Biedermeier-era greeting cards made of precious materials, donated by Jean Riddell, will be joined by rare fifteenth-century German prints, from the collection of James Clark McGuire, and a bequest of etchings by Rembrandt and other masters from Henry Osborne and Louisine Havemeyer. Other donated collections on view include a selection of botanical watercolors and stained glass designs by Maitland, Margaret Neilson, and Helen Armstrong; a group of British drawings and watercolors given by George D. Pratt and Walter C. Baker; and examples of Mary Cassatt's color aquatints collected by Arthur and Paul J. Sachs.
Cyril E. Power (British, London 1872–1951 London). The Eight, 1930. Linocut, 13 in. × 9 1/4 in. (33 × 23.5 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Leslie and Johanna Garfield, 2019 (2019.415). © Estate of Cyril Power. All Rights Reserved, 2020 / Bridgeman Images