Issue 21 : Spring 2006
The Prints and Drawings Room
Public reaction to the refurbished Prints & Drawings Study Room has been very positive. The project was made possible by a grant from the DCMC/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund. The architects, Wright & Wright, have produced a handsome space, ideally suited for individual visitors and small teaching groups to study our outstanding collections of prints and drawings.
The appointment of two postgraduate students as Print Room Assistants has enabled us to open to visitors for up to three days a week. Since the beginning of term some 300 people have already made use of the room – a significant increase in numbers on the same time last year. Visitors have included students, teaching staff, curators, scholars, as well as a significant number of people attending seminars and talks on the collections. Two open days for staff and students have increased awareness amongst the Courtauld staff.
Dr Chris Fischer, Director of the Centre for the Advanced Study of Old Master Drawings in Copenhagen, was invited by the Research Forum to join us as a Visiting Curator for six weeks, with his assistant, Jesper Svenningen. Their work on the thousand or so Italian drawings was invaluable. It included checking attributions and provenances, and advising on the cataloguing of the collection. Chris’s MA seminars were an exemplary use of the room and collections, as was a well-attended drawings workshop, a Research Forum initiative organized by Pat Rubin. The gathering of Courtauld staff and curators of drawings from the Louvre, Rijskmuseum, British Museum, Ashmolean and other institutions to compare Print Rooms practices was the ideal way to launch the new Prints & Drawings Study Room.
Dr Joanna Selborne
Curator, Prints and Drawings