The American Antiquarian Society’s drawings collection consists of over 550 drawings in graphite, pen, ink and wash, chalk, watercolor and charcoal ranging in size from items used as bookmarks to large landscapes intended for display in the home; there are also over a dozen sketchbooks. The collection ranges from the late 1700s to the early 20th century, with the bulk dating from the mid-19th century.

 

This site offers several ways of using the collection and inventory:

“Browse by Box” offers users the opportunity to browse the collection by size ranging from the smaller pieces in Box 1 to the Large Drawer. On these pages you can view thumbnails of the drawings contained within each box, a description of the item, size, date and acquisition information. You may also click on the “Enlarge” feature to view a research-size reference image of the drawing.

Some of the boxes contain the work of only one artist, including drawings by John Warner Barber, Alfred Carleton, Alonzo Chappel, Augustus Hoppin, Sir Henry James Warre, and four boxes by Catherine Wyman. All artists in the collection are listed in the “Artist Index” which links to that artist’s works in the inventoried boxes of the AAS Drawings Collection. Also on this page is a “Sitter Index” which links to the relevant entry for portrait subjects.

The “Browse by Subject” briefly lists which type of items are contained within each box. The collection contains genre scenes featuring everyday life, landscapes, portraits, still-life images, marine, buildings, cities and decorative pieces.

Several items in the collection are preparatory drawings for book, periodical and lithograph illustrations. The “Prep for Print” page is divided into two sections:

The first section is for items which were created as preliminary work for publication. The section is subdivided into works where publication information is known and where publication information is not known. A hyperlink is supplied which links users to the AAS catalog for the print version of the item.

The second section is for items where a printed image was used as a source for student drawings. This section is also subdivided into two sections where publication information is known and where publication information is not known. A hyperlink is supplied which links users to the AAS catalog for the print version of the item.

Finally, there are some drawn works which were not inventoried as part of the “Drawings Collection” as they are largely contained within other Society collections. A listing of such collections is available on the “Other Drawings at AAS” page.

Users may search here using the downloadable pdf to find specific keywords in the Drawings Collection Inventory.

The slide show to the left depicts details of the more notable images, but click here to see more of what the Society holds...

 

 

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