The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, founded in 1948 by Moore and Hazel Achenbach, is the Fine Arts Museums’ department of prints, drawings, and photographs. It is the largest American museum collection of its kind west of Chicago; works range from the Renaissance to contemporary art and also include Asian art. Over the past decade the department has acquired more than 6,600 works on paper through gift and purchase. There has not been an opportunity to exhibit many of them until now. This exhibition of more than 250 objects displays the breadth and depth of our collecting activities over the past 10 years.
Shown for the first time will be drawings by Michelangelo Buonarroti, Anthonie Waterloo, Giacomo Balla, Edward Hopper, Hans Arp, Andy Warhol, and Wayne Thiebaud, along with prints by Federico Barocci, George Stubbs, John Constable, Paul Gauguin, Giorgio Morandi, Pablo Picasso, and Gerhard Richter. A special emphasis has been placed on the acquisition of photography, with important works by Carleton Watkins, Lewis Carroll, Imogen Cunningham, and Diane Arbus on display.
None of this overview exhibition would have been possible without the generosity of numerous individuals dedicated to the Museums. The major 1998 gift of the Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books and the establishment of a permanent book gallery at the Legion have transformed the direction of the collection. Special mention should be made of the continuing gift of an archive print from every published edition of Crown Point Press, the premier intaglio press in America, and the extraordinary philanthropy of the late Phyllis C. Wattis, who was responsible for the acquisition of a major early de Kooning drawing and the complete graphic arts archive of Ed Ruscha.