Experience the Works on Paper at the Spencer Museum of Art

December 15, 2011 by  

The Spencer Museum of Art, located at the University of Kansas in Lawrence owns over 16,000 works of art on paper. The Max Kade-Erich H. Markel Department of Graphic Arts at the museum includes prints, drawings, photographs and artist’s books. It is considered “one of the nation’s premier repositories of graphic art among university museums.”

Those who are involved in the printing services in Lawrence must be pleased that such a resource is nearby for study. By studying the printmaking techniques of masters and innovators, their own work can only get better.

The collection is made up from donations from local and national art collectors. The Works of Paper collection contains a wide variety of prints; Italian Renaissance prints, 17th century prints, Japanese prints and prints, drawings and photographs from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The department has gotten many of the items through bequests, such as the Pop-art collection of Gene Swensen. They also have a large collection of works that were created for Esquire magazine by artists such as photographer Diane Arbus and artist Alberto Vargus. In addition, they also own several prints from printmaking organizations such as Prairie Print Makers and the Lawrence Lithography Workshop.

The Print Study Room allows for area students to learn about the prints and other works on paper in the collection. The department also has created several online resources for studying the collection; for example, there is detailed information on printmaking terms, how to identify the artists of prints and image maps of printmaking techniques which study the prints in detail. The Works on Paper collection offers a great learning experience for all.