The Prints and Drawings collection includes more than 15,000 works on paper as well as several hundred illuminated manuscripts and printed books by European and American artists from the 14th century to the present, in addition to a select representation of Persian and Indian miniature painting. The quality and breadth of the collection were established in the 1930s and 1940s by gifts and bequests from Princeton alumni Junius S. Morgan and Dan Fellows Platt, Museum director Frank Jewett Mather Jr., and professor Clifton R. Hall.
Among the strengths of the Princeton collection are old master prints, including large holdings of etchings and engravings by Jacques Callot and Hendrick Goltzius in addition to fine impressions of works by such master printmakers as Martin Schongauer, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, and Goya; Italian 17th- and 18th-century drawings, with outstanding groups by Guercino, Salvator Rosa, Giambattista and Giandomenico Tiepolo; Spanish Renaissance and Baroque drawings; 18th- and 19th-century French and British prints and drawings; American drawings, sketchbooks, and watercolors, including examples by Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, and Georgia O'Keeffe; and a significant group of Latin American modern and contemporary prints and drawings.
Because works on paper are sensitive to light, selections from the collection are displayed in the galleries on a rotating basis. Prints, drawings, and manuscripts not on view are available by appointment in the department's study room.