Works on Paper
Drawings, Prints, and Photographs
Graphic arts comprise a large part of the collection. Drawings by John James Audubon, Thomas Moran, Charles Burchfield, Edward Hopper, Wayne Thiebaud, and April Gornik give visitors glimpses of how artists develop their ideas. The museum holds a strong collection of twentieth-century prints as well. For example, Sean Scully chose the Smithsonian American Art Museum as the sole U.S. repository of a master set of his prints from 1982 to the present.
America's continuing love affair with the camera can be traced through the museum's collection, which contains daguerreotypes, works by early photographers such as Carleton Watkins and Timothy O'Sullivan, twentieth-century photographers Aaron Siskind and Irving Penn, and contemporary artists William Christenberry and Richard Misrach. The photography collection also documents America's changing relationship with the landscape, from sublime shots of the West in the 1860s through contemporary images revealing environmental concerns.
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Pictured: Wayne Thiebaud, Neapolitan Meringue, 1986/1999, pastel over lithograph, 14 x 16 1/2 in., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Warren Unna, Terry and Margaret Stent, and the Thiebaud Family, and museum purchase in honor of Nan Tucker McEvoy