Drawings and prints were the first works to enter The Museum of Modern Art’s collection in 1929, the year of the Museum’s founding. At various points in MoMA’s history, these two mediums have been separated into individual departments or joined together; since 2013, they have been united within the Department of Drawings and Prints.
MoMA’s drawings holdings represent one of the most comprehensive collections of 20th-century works on paper, bringing together more than 11,000 items. These include a historical range of drawings in pencil, ink, and charcoal, as well as watercolors, gouaches, collages, and works in mixed mediums.
Our holdings of prints, illustrated books, and multiples include more than 60,000 works, comprising the world’s most extensive collection of modern and contemporary prints and illustrated books. While traditional techniques such as woodcut, etching, lithography, and screenprinting form the core of the collection, newer digital processes, multiples, and artist’s books are also collected in breadth and depth.
Additionally, the Department of Drawings and Prints houses several discrete collections, including the Judith Rothschild Foundation Collection of Russian Books (approximately 1,000 works, acquired 2001–02); the Judith Rothschild Foundation Collection of Contemporary Drawings (approximately 2,600 works, acquired 2005); the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection (approximately 5,000 works, acquired 2008); and the Louise Bourgeois print archive (approximately 5,000 works, acquired on an ongoing basis since 1993).
Research and Resources
Photo: Installation view, A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde, The Museum of Modern Art, December 3, 2016–March 12, 2017