The DAC's holdings include American prints from the 19th century, many works from the etching revival of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and others by more recent American printmakers of the 20th and 21st centuries. In the 1990s the scope of the collection expanded to include acquisitions of 19th-century reproductive prints useful as primary sources for undergraduates, faculty, and visiting scholars studying the nation's cultural and social history.
American Prints before 1900
19th-century American prints at the DAC include works produced as fine art by such printmakers as Whistler, as well as objects originally made and disseminated as popular commodities. Many DAC acquisitions in the later 1990s focused on building up the museum's collection of 19th-century U.S. prints for use in American Studies courses.Holdings of the latter sort include prints by Currier & Ives; Doolittle; Fabronius; Hollyer and Rogers; the Moran family; Lewis Prang & Co.; Sartain; Savage (George Washington); James Smillie and by four other artists producing prints for the American Art-Union; James David Smillie; Wiest; and Woodward.
The collection includes close to 100 wood engravings after Winslow Homer as published in Harper's Weekly from the 1850s through the 1870s, as well as a number of similarly produced and disseminated images by other 19th-century American artists.
Whistler & His Contemporaries
The DAC's 89 prints by James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) include rarities and examples of altered states. Also in the collection is the set 42 Etchings from Cancelled Plates and a set of photographs of Whistler's prints commissioned by the artist. These (and three Whistler drawings) are largely the gift of George Davison, who was a great admirer of Whistler and his followers among younger painter-etchers and lithographers. The collection includes works by other U.S. artists associated with the American Etching Revival. Among these artists are Joseph Pennell (207 prints), John Twachtman, and Julian Alden Weir. Other U.S. printmakers of this era include Otto H. Bacher; Timothy Cole; Frank Duveneck; Robert S. Gifford; Pop Hart; Childe Hassam; Charles F. Mielatz (86); Charles A. Platt; Ernest Roth; John Sloan; and Henry Wolf (56).
American Prints, 1900-1950
The DAC Collection includes prints by American modernists such as Josef Albers (7 works, including Interaction of Color); Herbert Bayer; Alexander Calder; Stuart Davis; Werner Drewes; Lyonel Feininger; Marsden Hartley; Earl Horter; Norman Ives (10); Jacques Lipschitz; Louis Lozowick; Samuel Margolies; John Marin; Gabor Peterdi; Charles Sheeler; Mark Tobey; and Max Weber.
Among the other U.S. printmakers who worked in the early or mid-20th century and are represented in the collection are John Taylor Arms (166); Leonard Baskin (22); George Bellows (8); Thomas Hart Benton (9); Mary Cassatt (3); Adolf Dehn (11); Kerr Eby (14); Fritz Eichenberg (8); Philip Evergood (3); Antonio Frasconi (7); Emil Ganso (3); Gordon Grant (5); Samuel M. Green (39); William Gropper (2); Robert Gwathmey (1); T.S. Handforth (25); Arthur W. Heintzelman (8); Jacques Hnizdovsky (7); Lorenzo Homar (9); Peter Hurd (26); Philip Kappel (77); Rockwell Kent (2); Misch Kohn (3); Lawrence Kupferman (5); Armin Landeck (5); Mauricio Lasansky (2); Martin Lewis (4); Russell T. Limbach (299); Nat Lowell (9); Donald S. MacLaughlan (16); Reginald Marsh (8); W.C. McNulty (2); Thomas W. Nason (7); Chester B. Price (8); Robert Riggs (2); Louis C. Rosenberg (11); Ben Shahn (4); Jules André Smith (6); Raphael Soyer (2); Alexander Stavenitz (3); Harry Sternberg (3); Jan Vondrous (10); Lynn Kendall Ward (5); Herman A. Webster (15); Oscar Weissbuch (5); Stow Wengenroth (6); Levon West (9); and Grant Wood (8).
20th-Century Mexican Prints
DAC holdings of 20th-century prints from North America also include images by Mexican artists José Posada (8), José Clemente Orozco (2), Diego Rivera (2), and David Siqueiros (3).
American Prints after 1950
The DAC's diverse holdings of contemporary American prints are especially strong in works by artist Jim Dine. Among the museum's other such prints are works by Dill, Fischl, Francis, Frankenthaler, Grooms, Hartigan, Holzer, Jacquette, Johns, Katz, Kelly, Kitaj, de Kooning, Lemieux, Levine, LeWitt, Lichtenstein, Ligon, Robert Mangold, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Marden, McPherson, Mitchell, Motherwell, Murray, Nevelson, Oldenburg, Pearlstein, Pindell, Piper, Rauschenberg, Reinhardt, Rosenquist, Rothenberg, Ruscha, Salle, Serra, Smith, Stella, Twombly, Warhol, and Wojnarowicz. In addition to prints by these and other U.S. artists, the North American print holdings also include 42 works by Mexican artist José Luis Cuevas.
Jim Dine Prints
Most of the DAC's more than 150 prints by Jim Dine (American, born 1935) were given in honor of the artist's friend, John R. Jakobson (B.A. Wesleyan 1952, LL.D. 1989, Trustee Emeritus). These holdings include progress proofs and represent Dine's full career as an experimental printmaker. In recent years they have been complemented by a collection of his photogravures.
Windows into Creative Process
Along with ten prints by Sylvia Plimack Mangold, the DAC Collection also has the copper plate for her works titled The Locust Trees with Maple, executed in drypoint and aquatint. Holdings such as this help both students and gallery visitors learn about printmaking techniques and understand artists' creative processes more fully. Other artists represented in the collection include Richard Bosman (5); Lesley Dill; Eric Fischl (5); Sam Francis (2); Helen Frankenthaler (4); Joe Goode (6); Red Grooms (4); Grace Hartigan (2); Jenny Holzer (1 set); Yvonne Jacquette (6); Jasper Johns (9, plus the book Fizzles with 33 etchings); Alex Katz (5); Ellsworth Kelly (2); R.B. Kitaj (4); Willem de Kooning (2); Annette Lemieux (2); Alfred Leslie (2); Sherrie Levine (1); Sol LeWitt (4); Roy Lichtenstein (8); Glenn Ligon (14); Brice Marden (two sets of 5); Agnes Martin (2); Craig McPherson (2); Joan Mitchell (2); Robert Motherwell (5); Elizabeth Murray (sets of 4 and 5); Louise Nevelson (2); Claes Oldenburg (6); Philip Pearlstein (4); Howardena Pindell (3); Adrian Piper (1); Robert Rauschenberg (7); Ad Reinhardt (set of 10); James Rosenquist (3); Susan Rothenberg (4); Edward Ruscha (4); David Salle (2); Richard Serra (3); Vincent D. Smith (3); Frank Stella; David True (1); Cy Twombly (2); Andy Warhol (2); Tom Wesselman (3); William T. Wiley (2); and David Wojnarowicz.