Print Study Rooms — Where are they???

This link brings you to USA and Canadian 112 different print study rooms listed alphabetically.  It stipulates “Contemporary Print Collections Open for Study”, but I have used several of them (Arizona State University Art Museum’s, UCLA’s Grunwald Center, D.C.’s Library of Congress’, Art Institute of Chicago’s, New York Public Library’s, Cleveland Museum of Art’s, Fogg Museum’s and others). All of these I just named have much broader holdings than just contemporary prints.

For instance, if you only want to look at Meiji prints, call first to find out if their holdings specifically include many examples of what you want to view.  Know that you must make an appointment several days or weeks in advance.  This is especially critical now, as positions have been cut severely on many campuses and at museums.  Hours have been reduced as well. 

  • Request the type of prints (by technique, artist, country, date, etc), you would like to have pulled for your visit.
  • Upon visiting a print study room, engage the curator to make  your visit a richer experience.  These are frequently highly informed individuals with an intense depth of knowledge about prints. Often they are happy to share with visitors who are sincerely interested.
  • Making notes?  Ask to use or bring a pencil.  Pens are not welcome in a print study room environment. 
  • Be prepared to be asked to wear white gloves, typically supplied to you at no charge.
  • Add one hour to the time  you think you will need.  Time goes quickly, particularly if someone is shepherding you through the visit.

Sometimes making visits to print study rooms can accelerate your print connoisseurship faster than waiting for an appropriate class or reading a book. 

Corinne Cain of

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