Prints and Drawings

The Gallery’s collection of prints and drawings comprises approximately 28,000 prints and over 10,000 drawings and watercolors from the 15th century to the present, with highlights including a large group of prints and drawings from the early modern period, a recently acquired group of 18th-century Italian and 19th-century French prints, American works from the 19th through early 20th century, and around 800 works of postwar art acquired within the last decade.
Massacre of the Innocents
Tête de Flore (Head of Flora)
Caricature of a Man Wearing a Large Hat
In despair, Olympia throws herself on the bed, illustration for Canto X, verse 27, of Lodovico Ariosto's "Orlando Furioso"
Red Canna
Battle of the Nudes

About Prints and Drawings

The Yale University Art Gallery’s collection contains approximately 28,000 prints and over 10,000 drawings and watercolors, ranging in date from the 15th century to the present. Particular strengths include the Arthur Ross Collection, with approximately 1,000 prints by 18th-century Italian and 19th-century French artists as well as the Spanish artist Francisco de Goya; over 600 prints and drawings from the early modern period, including German Expressionism, most of which came to the Gallery as part of the Société Anonyme Collection; a sizable selection of American watercolors, prints, and artists’ sketchbooks from the 19th through early 20th century; and some 800 works by artists of the second half of the 20th century from the collections of Richard Brown Baker, B.A. 1935; Charles B. Benenson, B.A. 1933; Susan and Arthur Fleischer, Jr., B.A. 1953, LL.B. 1958; and Sally and Wynn Kramarsky.

Other highlights are extraordinary prints by the Old Master printmakers Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt van Rijn, an exemplary group of Dutch and Flemish 16th- and 17th-century drawings that constitute a study collection with few rivals in the United States, and a strong collection of printed portraits from the 16th to 18th century. Recently, additions of Giorgio Ghisi’s engraving after Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, Michele Marieschi’s views of Venice, Filippo Morghen’s Voyage to the Moon, a series of etchings by Ange-Laurent de La Live de Jully after Jacques Saly, and Tête de Flore by Louis-Marin Bonnet have substantially enhanced the collection. Among numerous 19th-century French drawings are stunning examples by Eugène Delacroix, Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Auguste Rodin, Georges Seurat, and Édouard Vuillard.

The Gallery also holds an extensive collection of drawings by the American pre-Raphaelite artist Edwin Austin Abbey and virtually all the lithographs by two 19th-century French artists, Théodore Géricault and Paul Gavarni. In recent decades the Gallery has acquired works by many contemporary artists, including Georg Baselitz, Gerhard Richter, and William Kentridge; a number of important examples of 20th-century collage; and numerous wall drawings by Sol LeWitt.

Note from the Curator

This small but commanding collage by Kara Walker dates to about 1994 and is one of her first compositions to feature the silhouettes that have since become synonymous with her name. The intimate size and gemlike tones of this poignant collage imbue it with a visual power that draws the viewer in, only to reveal its difficult subject. It depicts two black female figures in silhouette emerging from a shack. One woman carries her own head—separated from her body—before her in her outstretched hands. Another follows, extending her right hand to sprinkle something, possibly flower petals, into the decapitated body or, perhaps, to offer a blessing over it. The black silhouettes stand out boldly against a colorful contemporary textile depicting a garden gathering of white aristocrats in a style evocative of French Rococo—an ironic contrast that speaks to Walker’s attention to the long and difficult histories of slavery and violence against women in America.

Kara Walker is internationally recognized as one of the most influential artists of her generation, and the Gallery has been collecting her prints and illustrated books since she first burst onto the national art scene in 1995. This work, however, is the first unique object by the artist to enter the collection, and is a recent joint acquisition by the departments of Prints and Drawings and Modern and Contemporary Art.

It is available for viewing by appointment in the Gallery’s Duffy Study Room.

Elisabeth (Lisa) Hodermarsky
Acting Head and the Sutphin Family Senior Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings

Kara Walker, Untitled, ca. 1994. Collage; cut and pasted paper with oil on fabric, 10 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. (26 x 26 cm). Yale University Art Gallery, Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund

Meet the Curator

Elisabeth (Lisa) Hodermarsky

Elisabeth (Lisa) Hodermarsky, Acting Head and the Sutphin Family Senior Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Gallery, is a specialist in 19th- and 20th-century American art on paper, with a particular interest in prints and drawings. In her many years on staff at the Gallery, she has produced numerous exhibitions and publications, including Red Grooms: Larger than Life; Conversations from the Print Studio: A Master Printer in Collaboration with Ten Artists; John La Farge’s Second Paradise: Voyages in the South Seas, 1890–1891; Appropriated Lands: Photography and the Great Surveys of the American West, 1867–1879; and The Synthetic Century: Collage from Cubism to Postmodernism; and she was a principal co-curator of The Critique of Reason: Romantic Art 1760–1860 and a principal coauthor of the exhibition catalogue Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery.

lisa.hodermarsky@yale.edu

Download Lisa Hodermarsky’s CV
Elisabeth (Lisa) Hodermarsky

Further Reading

Alcauskas, Katherine. The Pull of Experiment: Postwar American Printmaking, exh. broch. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2009.

Boorsch, Suzanne, and John Marciari. Master Drawings from the Yale University Art Gallery. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006.
Learn More

Clark, Alvin L., Jr. From Mannerism to Classicism: Printmaking in France, 1600–1660, exh. cat. Edited by Lesley K. Baier and Elise K. Kenney. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1987.

Cornell, Daniell, and Cheryl Finley. Imaging African Art: Documentation and Transformation, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2000.

DeRose, Elizabeth C. Jasper Johns: From Plate to Print, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006.
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DeRose, Elizabeth C. Making a Mark: Four Contemporary Artists in Print, exh. broch. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006.

Emison, Patricia A. The Art of Teaching: Sixteenth-Century Allegorical Prints and Drawings, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1986.

Farrell, Jennifer, et al. Get There First, Decide Promptly: The Richard Brown Baker Collection of Postwar Art. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2012.
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Field, Richard S., et al. American Prints 1900–1950: An Exhibition in Honor of the Donation of John P. Axelrod, B.A. 1968, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1983.

Field, Richard S., et al. French Drawings: Acquisitions 1970–1984, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1984.

Franks, Pamela. The Tiger’s Eye: The Art of a Magazine, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2002.
Learn More

Gross, Jennifer R., ed. Edgar Degas: Defining the Modernist Edge, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2003.

Gross, Sally Lorensen. Toward an Urban View: The Nineteenth-Century American City in Prints, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1989.

Haverkamp-Begemann, Egbert, and Anne-Marie Logan. European Drawings and Watercolors in the Yale University Art Gallery 1500–1900. 2 vols. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970.

Herbert, Robert L., Eleanor S. Apter, and Elise K. Kenney, eds. The Société Anonyme and the Dreier Bequest at Yale University: A Catalogue Raisonné. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984.

Hodermarsky, Elisabeth S. Give a Thing and it is Yours Forever: George Hopper Fitch Collects for Yale, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1997.

Hodermarsky, Elisabeth S. The Synthetic Century: Collage from Cubism to Postmodernism, Selections from the Collection, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2002.

Hodermarsky, Elisabeth S., et al. John La Farge’s Second Paradise: Voyages in the South Seas, 1890–1891, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2010.
Learn More

Kusserow, Karl. Watercolor in America, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1990.

Law, Mary E. Confronting the Uncomfortable: Questioning Truth and Power, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1989.

Mills, Laura K. American Allegorical Prints: Constructing an Identity, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1996.

Pillsbury, Edmund, and John Caldwell. Sixteenth Century Italian Drawings: Form and Function, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1974.

Shestack, Alan, and Lesley K. Baier. The Katharine Ordway Collection. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1983.

Williams, Lyle W. Pattern and Invention: Ornament Prints, 1500–1800, exh. cat. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992.

Wolf, Alice. The Edward B. Greene Collection of Engraved Portraits and Portrait Drawings at Yale University. With a preface by Theodore Sizer. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1942.

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