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History of British Art: Prints & Drawings

Collection Highlights

Clare Leighton, Limbing, Wood engraving on Japan paper, Yale Center for British Art, Yale Art Gallery Collection, Gift of the Association in Fine Arts


Barbara Hepworth, Three Forms, 1970
Screenprint in blue and white, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

YCBA Prints and Drawings Department

A portion of the Center's collection of prints and drawings is now searchable on the Center's online. The online catalogue provides standard object information as well as access to publication-quality images for all objects in the public domain. Additionally, a growing number of object records also provide specific bibliographies for individual objects and are featured in the Publications section of each object record. Object bibliographies will provide users with list of references that can be accessed directly from resources found throughout Yale.

The Department of Prints and Drawings is responsible for more than 20,000 drawings and watercolors and 30,000 prints. The collection offers a comprehensive view of the development of British graphic art from the Tudor age to the twenty-first century. While there is a particular emphasis on the British watercolor school of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the collection is wide-ranging. Areas of specialized interest include topographical prints, caricatures, mezzotint portraits, sporting prints, architectural drawings, Shakespearean subjects, and works relating to the former British Empire.

The Study Room, for viewing prints‚ drawings‚ rare books, and manuscripts, is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 4:30 pm. No appointment is required.

Contact the Department

     Department of Prints and Drawings
     Yale Center for British Art
     1080 Chapel Street
     P.O. Box 208280
     New Haven, CT 06520-8280

     +1 203 432 7314
     +1 203 432 2840 fax

To find information about objects in the Prints and Drawings Collection

YCBA Paintings and Sculpture Collection online: Browsable online database that includes basic information on objects in the collection.

YCBA Object Bibliographies: The YCBA Reference Library has created bibliographies for many of the works in the collection, which are now fully accessible online. For further information, inquire at the YCBA Reference desk  (203) 432-2818, or

YCBA Card Catalogue:
A card catalogue in the Center's Study Room provides access to the Prints and Drawings Collection. Arranged by artist name and subdivided by type (print or drawing), the catalogue can be freely used by patrons. No appointment is necessary. To view any work in the collection simply fill out a call slip and present it in the Study Room.

YCBA Printed publications:
The YCBA Reference Library holds a complete collection of the Center's exhibition and collection catalogues dating from 1977 to today. Most of these publications include objects from YCBA prints and drawings collections. To see a listing of these publications in ORBIS, search for "Yale Center for British Art" as a keyword phrase in the "Publisher" field.


Hargraves, Matthew. Great British Watercolors from the Paul Mellon Collection at the Yale Center for British Art,
     YCBA, 2007.

Wilcox, Scott. The Line of Beauty: British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century, YCBA, 2001.

Egerton, Judy. British Sporting and Animal Prints 1658-1874: The Paul Mellon Collection, Tate Gallery, 1981.

Catalogue Raisonnés: The YCBA Reference Library collects catalogue raisonnés and exhibition catalogues devoted to artists in the Center's collections. Many of the objects in the YCBA collections can be found in these publications.