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Exhibitions/ Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints: Materials and Techniques

Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints: Materials and Techniques

At The Met Fifth Avenue
April 29–July 26, 2021

Exhibition Overview

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 presents four thematic installations that take an in-depth look at the fabric of its collections. This fourth installation is designed to elucidate the broad range of materials and techniques used by artists in Europe and the United States to create works on paper from the Renaissance to the present day.

Different sections of the gallery offer explanations and varied examples of works featuring materials such as graphite, ink and wash, chalk, watercolor, and pastel, and techniques such as woodcut, engraving, lithography, and screenprint. With examples chosen from across cultures and time periods, the selection highlights technical facility and innovation.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in

The Materials and Techniques of Drawings and Prints

Composite image showing a drawing of two young lovers by Peter Paul Rubens (left) and a print of an identical image by the same artist (right)How are artworks on paper created? Discover more about the various techniques featured in the exhibition in this online feature of illustrated explainers.

Exhibition Objects

Hubert Robert, French, Paris 1733–1808 Paris, Young Artists in the Studio. Red chalk, with framing lines in pen and brown ink, 13 7/8 x 16 1/4 in.  (35.2 x 41.2 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971 (1972.118.231)