Works on Paper, Renaissance to the Present
Rooted in the history of Indiana University’s fine arts department, the Eskenazi Museum of Art’s works-on-paper collection goes back 120 years, when the department’s first instructor, Alfred Mansfield Brooks, began collecting prints and drawings to use in the classroom. Although his efforts set the standard for teaching from original art, the emphasis on a museum-quality collection began with the hiring of Henry Radford Hope as the museum’s first director in 1941. Henry Radford Hope and second director Thomas T. Solley’s scholarly interests in modernism made the works-on-paper collection especially rich in material from this period—from Impressionism to Surrealism. The collection strives for a broad art historical sweep with iconic examples of prints, drawings, and photographs by leading practitioners from the fifteenth through the twenty-first century. Although the focus has been on acquiring excellent representative examples covering a wide range of artists, periods, and movements, there are also large holdings by some individual artists.