Formally established in 1720, the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett is the oldest museum dedicated to works on paper in the German-speaking lands. This exhibition celebrates the institution’s three hundredth anniversary by bringing together around sixty of its finest drawings, many of which have never before traveled to the United States. Made between the fifteenth and the twentieth centuries, the works on view celebrate pivotal moments and key traditions in the history of European draftsmanship. Foremost among them is Jan van Eyck’s Portrait of an Older Man (ca. 1435–40)—the only surviving drawing by the renowned Netherlandish painter. Acknowledging the importance of Dresden as a European cultural center from the eighteenth century onward, the exhibition also highlights the work of Caspar David Friedrich, Käthe Kollwitz, Otto Dix, and other artists with strong personal and professional connections to the city. Although the display primarily focuses on the European graphic tradition, two refined works from India and China, acquired in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, illuminate the global approach that has shaped the Dresden collection since its inception.
Van Eyck to Mondrian: 300 Years of Collecting in Dresden was organized by the Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and the Morgan Library & Museum, New York.
This exhibition is made possible by an anonymous donor, in memory of Melvin R. Seiden. Generous support is provided by the William Randolph Hearst Fund for Scholarly Research and Exhibitions; the Wolfgang Ratjen Foundation, Liechtenstein; The Christian Humann Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Clement C. Moore II; Elizabeth and Jean-Marie Eveillard; Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder; and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation; with assistance from the Arnhold Family, in memory of Henry H. Arnhold.
This exhibition is also made possible with the kind support of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, New York.
Colin Bailey, Director
Hello, I'm Colin B. Bailey, Director of the Morgan Library and Museum. I am delighted to welcome you to Van Eyck to Mondrian: 300 Years of Collecting in Dresden.
The Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett is the oldest museum dedicated to collecting, preserving, and researching works on paper in the German-speaking lands. This exhibition celebrates the institution’s three-hundredth anniversary by bringing together a remarkable group of around sixty drawings made between the fifteenth and the twentieth centuries. The works on view represent pivotal moments and key traditions in the history of European draftsmanship—from iconic portraits by Northern Renaissance masters, such as Van Eyck and Holbein, to Rembrandt’s exuberant marks, Goya’s biting irony, and the complex social critiques found in the works of Käthe Kollwitz and her German contemporaries.
As you move through the gallery, look for the audio symbols to discover commentary narrated by curators and fellows from the Morgan’s Department of Drawings and Prints. Thank you for joining us at the Morgan. We hope you enjoy your visit