A Poetic Sensibility: Contemporary Prints from the Gift of James Kraft, Class of 1957

This group of cabinet-sized prints and photographs has been selected from the gift of contemporary prints assembled by James Kraft, Class of 1957. Beginning in the 1970s and continuing through 1992, Kraft amassed over six hundred works, including prints, photographs, illustrated books, portfolios, and various original works on paper. To this day, the Kraft collection is one of the largest gifts ever made to the Princeton University Art Museum, and it constitutes the backbone of the Museum’s contemporary print holdings. The collection features an extraordinary range of artists, particularly those better known for paintings and sculpture than for printmaking. The diversity of these artists reflects Kraft’s goal: forming a collection of prints that would faithfully represent contemporary American cultural activity, from small introspective impressions to large virtuosic showpieces. Kraft’s collection contains works by contemporary artists who employ virtually every printmaking technique utilized in Western art, from mezzotint to monotype, including offset lithography, screen printing, and other commercial processes, either as they have been traditionally practiced or as they are applied experimentally. He also saved correspondence, gallery announcements, and magazine articles, providing the Museum with a fascinating archive.

 A great collection can often provide valuable insights into the personality of the collector. Jim Kraft earned a doctorate in English literature before establishing a career as a highly respected director for development of many illustrious arts organizations and museums. As a program developer at the National Endowment for the Humanities he honed an understanding of the need to the support the institutions that nurture artistic talent. Yet it is Kraft’s predisposition to narrative or serial imagery combined with a lyrical use of materials that is most evident throughout these works, reminding us of his initial dedication to literature, and suggesting his poetic sensibilities as a collector.

Calvin Brown, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings

  • 49616
    Richard Haas, American, born 1936
    O.K. Harris, 1971
  • 18400
    David Hockney, British, born 1937
    Printed and published by Petersburg Press
    Reclining Figure, 1975
  • 18053
    Jack Beal, American, 1931–2013
    Printed by Jennifer Melby, American, active since 1980
    Published by Brooke Alexander Editions
    Caviar, 1978
  • 49583
    Don Eddy, American, born 1944
    Untitled, 1964–2006
  • 49405
    Gregory Conniff, American, born 1944
    Wildwood, New Jersey, 1979, printed 1980
  • 49736
    Altoon Sultan, American, born 1948
    Tractor, Sangerfield, New York, 1986
  • 49759
    William T. Wiley, American, born 1937
    Published by Teaberry Press
    Pilgrim Repair, 1989
  • 49554
    Squeak Carnwath, American, born 1947
    We All Want to Believe, 1989
  • 87437
    Pat Steir, American, born 1938
    Space, 1976
    x1993-278 d
  • 87439
    Pat Steir, American, born 1938
    Being, 1976
    x1993-278 f
  • 49620
    Jane Hammond, American, born 1950
    Published by Castelli Graphics
    Untitled #30, 1988
  • 49409
    Marwan El Dewey, Egyptian, active late 20th century
    Untitled, 1979
  • 49463
    Jasper Johns, American, born 1930
    Published by Brooke Alexander Editions
    Untitled, 1977
  • 18721
    Richard Diebenkorn, American, 1922–1993
    Printed by Lilah Toland, American, active 1978–1983
    Published by Crown Point Press
    Five Aquatints with Drypoint, 1978
  • 18725
    Helen Frankenthaler, American, 1928–2011
    Printed by Eleonora Rossi , and Valter Rossi, Libyan, born 1937
    Published by 2 RC Editrice
    Pranzo Italiano (Italian Lunch), 1973
  • 18402
    Howard Hodgkin, British, 1932–2017
    Printed by Jack Shirreff, Andy Smith, and Steve 107 Workshop
    Published by The Mezzanine Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    After Degas, 1990
  • 18339
    Robert Mangold, American, born 1937
    Published by Parasol Press, Ltd.
    Five Aquatints, 1975
    x1993-246 a-e
  • 49474
    Sylvia Plimack Mangold, American, born 1938
    Six Inches Four Ways, 1976
  • 49475
    Agnes Martin, American, 1912–2004
    Praise, 1976
  • 49473
    Robert Mangold, American, born 1937
    Printed by Aaron Arnow at Parasol Press, Ltd.
    A Square with Four Squares Cut Away, 1976