Prints and Drawings

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. 

In Depth: 500 Years of Italian Master Drawings from the Princeton University Art Museum

The Museum’s first exhibition devoted to Italian drawings since the late 1960s, 500 Years of Italian Master Drawings showcases approximately one hundred works from the fifteenth through twentieth centuries, with significant groups by Luca Cambiaso, Parmigianino, Guercino, Giambattista Tiepolo, and Amedeo Modigliani, as well as revelatory sheets by Vittore Carpaccio, Michelangelo, and Gianlorenzo Bernini.

In Depth: 1913, The Year of Modernism

This exhibition celebrates the centennial of this pivotal year in art and liternature as well as its aftermath, highlighting key aspects of modernist movements--from Expressionism to Futurism, from visual poetry to Dadaist provocations.

Curator Laura Giles in Residence at Villa I Tatti, Italy

Last spring, Laura M. Giles, the Heather and Paul G. Haaga Jr., Class of 1970, Curator of Prints and Drawings, was a Craig Hugh Smyth Visiting Fellow for three months at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, located in Villa I Tatti, Bernard Berenson’s former villa outside of Florence.

New Acquisition: Valentine Green mezzotint

One of the most forwardthinking artists of the eighteenth century, Joseph Wright of Derby (1734–1797) was at the heart of England’s advanced scientific and artistic circles—a friend to Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood, fellow members of the Lunar Society, a prominent group of intellectuals, inventors, and scientists.

Charles Ryskamp Bequest

As much as possible, I have devoted my life to the appreciation, study, and teaching of art and literature; to those pursuits I must add, and with equal conviction, collecting. —Charles A. Ryskamp


Laura Giles

Heather and Paul G. Haaga Jr., Class of 1970, Curator of Prints and Drawings

Laura Giles received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1986. Her scholarly field of interest is Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. She has published many articles on Italian sixteenth- and seventeenth-century drawings, and co-authored Italian Drawings before 1600 in the Art Institute of Chicago (1997). Since 2000 she has organized a wide range of exhibitions of works on paper at the Museum, including Cézanne in Focus: Watercolors from the Henry and Rose Pearlman Collection (2002)Klinger to Kollwitz: German Art in the Age of Expressionism (2002); and Between Image and Concept: Recent Acquisitions in African American Art (2005). She is currently preparing an exhibition on Princeton’s Italian drawings, scheduled to open in 2014. 

Calvin Brown

Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings

Calvin Brown holds degrees from Cooper Union and Yale University in studio art and brings to Princeton an extensive background as a practicing artist and printmaker as well as more than thirty-five years of experience in museum print rooms. Brown has worked at the Addison Gallery of American Art; the Yale University Art Gallery; the Wadsworth Atheneum; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he was Senior Restorer in the Department of Drawings and Prints for eighteen years. Since coming to Princeton in 1997 he has organized dozens of exhibitions and installations drawn from the Museum's rich collection of prints and drawings, often in cooperation with the Department of Art and Archaeology. He has had primary responsibility for the installation of such major exhibitions as Le Corbusier at Princeton: 14–16 November 1935 (2001), West to Wesselmann: American Drawings and Watercolors in the Princeton University Art Museum (2004), Pop Art at Princeton: Permanent and Promised (2007), Gauguin’s Paradise Remembered: The Noa Noa Prints (2010), and Cartographies of Time (2011). Brown was appointed associate curator in 2006, and his specialty is modern and contemporary prints and drawings.