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New Impressions: USD’s Print Collection Adds More than 100 Works

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Over the past year, USD’s Print Collection increased by more than 100 works of art.

This fall’s exhibit, First Impressions: Recent Acqusititions, 2012-2013, features 25 of these works, the majority of which came as gifts to the university. We celebrate the donors whose generosity made this growth and, consequently, this project possible.

Beyond suggesting momentum for the collection as a whole, University Galleries is making a deliberate effort to broaden the Print Collection’s offerings. This is discernible even in a small survey, such as this one.  For example, adding works by women artists has been a priority.  First Impressions includes images by Teresa del Po, Isabel Bishop, Emma Bourne, and Shahzia Sikander.

Similarly, new attention to representations coming from Asia has resulted in several recent acquisitions. In response to significant student interest, contemporary prints comprise yet another component of this presentation. Almost half of the works in First Impressions were produced within the last 25 years.

Existing strengths in old master and modern collections have not been neglected, however: traditional prints are included as well, offering an opportunity to study techniques from the 17th century up to the present day.

Some of the acquisitions presented in First Impressions hint at future exhibition plans. University Galleries is aiming to build strengths in areas that underscore faculty expertise—an early print by Willem de Kooning will likely become part of a display devoted to Abstract Expressionist prints.

Other acquisitions are the result of bold curatorial experiments: students in an art history seminar last spring proposed a print for purchase which was acquired thanks to a newly created endowment from the Legler Benbough Foundation.

We hope that by sharing recently acquired works with visitors, this project will generate discussions about where to turn next.  Building a collection of prints that better serves constituents on campus, as well as the community at large, requires strong feedback. To this end, University Galleries encourages visitors to this gallery to visit our new website at or connect to our Facebook page at and share your comments.

While the past year represented the largest increase to the Print Collection since this program began in earnest, in 2002, University Galleries anticipates still more ambitious growth in years ahead.  Using these collections to teach, spark ideas, and investigate the place of powerful imagery in our lives promises to make USD a lively, visually literate community for years to come.

– Derrick R. Cartwright, Director of University Galleries

New Impressions: Recent Acquisitions, 2012-2013

Sept. 12 through Dec. 13

Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m.

Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.

Robert and Karen Hoehn Family Galleries in Founders  Hall


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Credit: Willem De Kooning, Revenge, 1960, Aquatint, Print Collection, University of San Diego, © 2013 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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