About the Collections

The Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, which originated in 1887, houses an encyclopedic collection of works on paper—prints, drawings, watercolors, photographs, illustrated books, and posters of American and European origin dating from the fifteenth century to the present. It is one of the world's major print rooms measured by standards of both size and quality.

The Morse Study Room for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Selections from the collection are exhibited on a rotating basis in galleries throughout the Museum. Because works on paper are sensitive to the damaging effects of light they are shown only for brief periods at a time. Most works on paper not currently on view may be examined in the Morse Study Room upon request.

The Morse Study Room for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs is located on the first floor of the Museum, near the Lower Rotunda. We are open by appointment Tuesday through Friday, 10 am-noon and 1:30-4 pm. To make an appointment, or for more information, please call 617-369-3112 or e-mail Patrick Murphy at pmurphy@mfa.org. For general department inquiries, please call 617-369-3426.

Old Master Drawings on Loan
A group of 108 Old Master Drawings, by sixteenth and seventeenth-century Dutch artists, is on loan to the Museum from the Maida and George Abrams Collection. The exceptional selection of drawings in a variety of media includes work by Jacques de Gheyn II, Hendrik Goltzius, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Jacob van Ruisdael. A selection from this collection will be on view in the exhibition "Mirror of Holland," which is on view in the Vrachos Gallery (Gallery 144) March 26 to July 31, 2011.

Recent Acquisitions
The Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs is pleased to announce highlights from its recent acquisitions. In 2008, the Museum had the rare opportunity to improve its already outstanding Albrecht Dürer collection by adding a fine early impression of The Martyrdom of St. Catherine of Alexandria, a woodcut dating to about 1498. Another important acquisition was Giorgio Morandi's Still Life with Drapery (1931), one of the artist's most refined etchings and a high point in his exploration of nuances of tone in the printmaking medium. These works may be viewed by appointment in the Morse Study Room.

Collections Highlights

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