In 2004 the Gallery was awarded a grant from the Wolfson/DCMS Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund for the refurbishment of the Prints and Drawings Study Room. Plans were drawn up by Wright & Wright Architects, who recently completed the refurbishment of the V&A print room. The old entrance lobby has been restored to use, new lighting has replaced the harsh neon strips, there is improved security, new viewing tables and filing cabinets and a cataloguing desk. A ledge for display purposes and secondary lighting runs around the perimeter of the room. Designed for prints and drawings seminars, this feature highlights the emphasis that has been placed on creating an environment which encourages teaching from the collections. Perhaps the most immediately visible change is the opening up of the two oeil de boeuf windows, on the East Wing staircase. This helps to restore the prints and drawings collection to the heart of the Institute, raising awareness of this truly exceptional resource and allowing it more fully to meet its founding mission. The digitisation of the drawings, the recent publication of the Spooner collection catalogue, the residency of Chris Fisher as our visiting curator, and the trial of a student assistant scheme (supported by a private gift) are all further evidence of the renewed energy and purpose surrounding Prints and Drawings. We hope to be able to welcome readers of this Newsletter and other friends of the Institute to the Study Room from mid-October.

Ernst Vegelin van Claerbergen
Senior Curator