Recent Acquisitions

A selection of artworks recently acquired for the University’s permanent collections.

Lithograph by Charles White Courtesy of the artist's estate.

Charles White (American, 1918-1979)

Wanted Poster #14, 1970, lithograph

Purchased through the John A. Petersen Acquisition Fund, PC2018.28.01

In 1970 Charles White embarked on an ambitious and powerful print project, the Wanted Posterseries, inspired by antebellum posters advertising slave auctions and runaway slaves. The series, printed at the prestigious Tamarind Lithography Workshop, continued White’s career-long commitment to portraying African Americans with dignity, while evolving towards a larger and more abstract style. In Wanted Poster #14, White portrays the heads of two African Americans—possibly a mother and child—framed in a circular tondoformat, set against an almost abstract field of crinkled paper. The date “1619”—the year the first slave ship arrived in Jamestown, Virginia—appears in the upper left, while in the upper right the date “19??” questions whether slavery in the United States ever really ended. The letter “X” marks the center of the composition beneath the two faces, a reference to the symbol used by black members of the Nation of Islam to replace the names assigned to them by white slave owners. 

Etching by John Sloan

John Sloan (American, 1871-1951)

Connoisseurs of Prints, 1905, etching

Purchased with funds from the Print Society, PC2018.24

John Sloan, an American realist who belonged to the Ashcan School (so-called because of their presumed fascination with depicting “garbage”), began his career as a newspaper illustrator in Philadelphia. He avidly adopted the etching medium in 1888. Here he portrays the opening of an exhibition of prints at the American Art Gallery in New York. Sloan has included a self-portrait as the figure on the right examining a print with a magnifying glass. The free handling and comic treatment of the other figures in this group recalls similar scenes by the legendary French painter and printmaker, Honoré Daumier.

Color print by Emma Stibbon Courtesy of the artist.

Emma Stibbon (British, born Germany 1962)

Sea Mist (Svalbard), 2015, intaglio 

Purchased through the John A. Petersen Print Acquisition Fund, PC2019.01.01

Emma Stibbon, a British painter and printmaker, has carried on the Romantic landscape tradition promoted by British thinker John Ruskin (1819-1900). She has said of her own work, “I am interested in whether drawing or print can connect the viewer with the urgencies of our relationship with environment and an experience of place.” Stibbon’s interest in extreme environments took her on an Arctic Circle expedition to Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago known for its glaciers and frozen tundras; a landscape profoundly impacted by climate change.

Set of three proof prints by Christina Chalon

Christina Chalon (Dutch, 1749-1808)

Untitled (Three domestic scenes from an uncut plate), 18thcentury, etching

Purchased with funds from the Print Society, PC2018.23

Christina Chalon was an eighteenth-century Dutch printmaker born to a family of artists and musicians. She trained as a painter—unusual for a woman at the time—but became proficient in the medium of etching, and her scenes of domestic life recall Golden Age Dutch artists Adriaen von Ostade and Rembrandt van Rijn. This rare uncut plate includes three preparatory proofs made by Chalon on one plate to save copper. The faintness of the ink suggests that it might be a second printing without re-inking the plate, referred to by printmakers as a “ghost” print.