Prints, Drawings, and Paintings

link to library catalog recordThe Lewis Walpole Library houses a significant collection of fine and graphic arts. The prints and drawings make up one of the most important collections of eighteenth-century British visual satire anywhere and it is the largest such collection outside the United Kingdom. The roughly 30,000 works on paper include over 10,000 caricatures and satirical prints, important holdings of drawings, and portrait and topographical prints, most of which are cataloged and searchable in Orbis, and Quicksearch, and  searchable and browsable in Digital Collections.

The collection includes many important works by such artists as

The library holds the most complete collection of fine-impression prints by Hogarth in the United States. More information about the library’s Hogarth collections

Many prints, drawings, and paintings now in the Lewis Walpole Library once belonged to Horace Walpole and often include annotations in his own hand.

Portrait miniatures and oil paintings, many in fine examples of period frames, include

Finding Graphic Materials in the Library’s Collection

See the Finding Lewis Walpole Library Collection Material Research Guide for search help.

Most of the library’s caricatures, satires, and other graphic materials, are cataloged in Orbis, Yale’s Library catalog. The Orbis records include links to the digital images. Unbound graphic works are typically cataloged individually. Usually bound volumes of graphic works are cataloged as a whole, with added name subject entries for artists included in the volume. The classification scheme for graphic works are local call number and is based on the date of the work. For example, a print published on October 23, 1786 has the call number 786.10.23.01++.

Prints, drawings, and paintings that belonged to Walpole are included in the database Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill Collection. Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill Collection

Information about Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill Collection

The vast majority of caricatures and satires have been digitized and available on the Yale University Library Digital Collection

Information about searching the Library’s Digital Collection

Selected further reading

Riely, John C. “English Prints in the Lewis Walpole Library.” The Yale University Library Gazette 49, no. 4 (1975): 364-75. (available through JSTOR only to members of the Yale community).