Works on Paper

From an early interest in finely made books and book illustrations, Carl Weyerhaeuser developed an appreciation for a wider range of print techniques. The oft-quoted anecdote is that, upon graduation from Harvard, Carl turned down an expensive Packard for a more modest Dodge, so he could make his first print acquisition, an impression of Rembrandt’s etching, Descent from the Cross by Torchlight. The subsequent collection formed by Carl and Edith Weyerhaeuser encompasses a vast survey of prints from a variety of cultural origins, including many works that represent major movements within their medium.

The Weyerhaeuser’s collection provided a rich system from which the future collection would grow. While subject became less important and technique and materials increased in significance, the Weyerhaeuser’s appreciated and kept up with new developments. By becoming an ardent supporter of groups such as the Boston Printmakers and Full Tilt Print Studio, the museum has formed a varied collection of twentieth century prints representing a wide range of techniques.

Collection strengths include, but are not limited to, work by sixteenth and seventeenth century masters, Dürer and Rembrandt; popular ukiyo-e Japanese woodblock artists, Hiroshige and Hokusai; modern Japanese woodblock prints from the movement known as sosaku hanga (creative print); American and European nineteenth and early twentieth century etchings, engravings, woodcuts, wood engravings, and lithographs; and contemporary prints in a variety of techniques. In addition to prints, the museum’s collection of works on paper also includes drawings and artist books.

The inherent mastery of techniques makes the works in the collection distinctive. The collection of works on paper has developed steadily, through both gifts and purchases, and continues to grow in both depth and scope. It is increasingly enriched by expanding upon contemporary holdings and supplementing pre-established areas of strength within the collection.