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The print collection at the ASU Art Museum has a broad historic scope, ranging from an early Bible page to contemporary work, including artists from Europe, Asia, Cuba and the Americas. Art movements in the collection include the Renaissance, Ukiyo-e, post-impressionism, German Expressionism, American Regionalism, Pop Art and others.
One of the focus areas of the collection is prints reflecting social and political issues including works by William Hogarth, Honoré Daumier, Francisco Goya, José Guadalupe Posada, Leopoldo Mendéz and Francesc Torres. There are approximately 50 prints and works on paper by contemporary Cuban artists and 123 lithographs and intaglios by Sue Coe. The artists use the print medium to satirize society, criticize governments and raise the social and political awareness of the viewer.
These prints do not sit idly in storage. One of the largest collections in the ASU Art Museum, the collection of more than 5,000 prints is held in the Jules Heller Print Study Room. It provides a secure environment for care and storage while also being an accessible resource for research and viewing by students, scholars and general visitors.
Prints are available for viewing by appointment offering a rare opportunity to view a print without a frame's glass. The subtleties of the paper and ink, the artist's hand – these cannot be captured or experienced through a slide presentation or from book research. Viewing the raw material is an educational experience that brings a physical reality to study and research.
The print collection's manager is available to explain the tools and printmaking processes to students, professors and scholars. More than 600 students visit the Jules Heller Print Study Room annually. The print collection also is used in exhibitions. For example, a, single print may be integrated into a larger show, or an entire exhibition may be organized from the holdings. Heel of the Boot: Prints by Sue Coe was drawn entirely from the print collection and toured the United States for three years. Codex Mendéz: Prints by Leopoldo Mendéz, a collection exhibition with additional prints from a local collector, also went on tour.
The ASU Art Museum has a strong base on which to build its print holdings and programs. We will continue collecting work of significant aesthetic, historic and social and political importance and organizing exhibitions and lectures from the ASU Art Museum's print collection.
For more information or to make an appointment to visit the Jules Heller Print Study Room, please contact us.