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  • Silvia Massa


Most cultural institutions around the world are now closed in order to comply with emergency measures put in place by local governments to fight COVID-19. With exhibition and reading rooms emptied of visitors, these institutions organised a great digital response to the present moment of unprecedent crisis. Virtual tours, promenades and interviews with curators, online collections and resources accessible for free, YouTube channels allow people stranded at home to keep in touch with art. And graphic art too! So this time, instead of presenting ongoing exhibitions, we provide you a selection of online resources that involve graphic art… enjoy and… stay home!

26 March 2020

Born on this day: Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794)

As far as online collections of prints and drawings are concerned, you can start with… well, with us, Ars Graphica! Take a look at our website where you can find a comprehensive list of online collections from many different countries!

But digital projects never rest! The Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt in Paris has just launched the first part of its online collection database. This includes all Italian drawings in the collection. The database is being updated on an ongoing basis. Next steps: drawing by Rembrandt and his School and Rembrandt’s etchings. Collections data are released under a public domain waiver in accordance with the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation, so they are free to be used. Yes!

And never forget to check out Google Arts and Culture which offers the opportunity to wander around museum spaces or to zoom in – incredibly close – some amazing examples of art on paper, such as Dürer’s Hase!

Graphic art on YouTube

Three, two, one… action! In the past weeks, many museums have launched or further enriched their own YouTube channel. Each institution has its preferences: some of them present the headquarters in a movie-like fashion, such as the video

by the Istituto Centrale della Grafica in Rome. Others prefer to present short videos focused on individual artworks in their collection: see for example the videos posted by Mariano Moret Collection in the section “Obras comentads”, or the video (#Rijksmuseumfromhome) on the Rijksmuseum YouTube channel where Head of Asian Art Menno Fitski tells us about two big Japanese screens by Yoshida Hiroshi. Presentations of exhibitions can be posted too. We can find this in various formats:

short videos (see for instance the Museo di Capodimonte in Neaples, which presents the concept behind the upcoming exhibition “Gemito dalla scultura al disegno”);

interviews (with Louis-Antoine Prat on the upcoming exhibition of his private collection at the Petit Palais);

conference registration (as at the Louvre – check the existing videos to see if there is anything you may have missed, Antoine-Jean Gros for instance?)

Last but not least, why not hearing the curators’ perspective on this complicated moment? Then check out the interviews with Dagmar Korbacher, director of the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, and with Andreas Schalhorn, curator of modern art in the same institution. Korbacher takes us behind the scenes to admire Raphael’s paintings and drawings, while Schalhorn walks us in the exhibition room being set up to host “Pop on paper”, whose opening was originally scheduled on 2 April.

For scholars of drawing: the association Bella Maniera has selected papers and articles available online related to drawing and drawings, all links are available from Bella Maniera website!

Good news!

The Amsterdam City Archives and Amsterdam Museum have acquired a collection of manuscripts, drawings, printed publications and other objects by the Dutch 17th-century inventor and artist Jan van der Heyden (the “Da Vinci of the Low Countries”). The Amsterdam City Archive will house works on paper, that add to the existing drawings, archival materials and prints formerly belonging to the Van der Heyden family. The other objects will go to the Amsterdam Museum. Read more here.

Jan van der Heyden: Cross-section of a burning house with firefighters, ca. 1690; Firefighters with fire engine on a square, 1677; Continuation of the ‘Description of the recently invented and patented hose fire engine’, ca. 1695;

Speaking of The Netherlands and acquisitions: do you know the Waller Fund? Thanks to the F.G. Waller Fund, each year the Print Room of the Rijksmuseum can buy prints and drawings to enhance and complement the collection. There is an upcoming exhibition at the Rijksmuseum to present the most exceptional acquisitions of the last ten years (Thanks to Waller 2010-2020). You can read more here.

Current opportunities

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is looking for the new Kathy and Ted Fernberger Curator of Prints at the assistant, associate or full curatorial level, to take care of the collection of 120,000 European, North American and Japanese prints. Apply by 6 April 2020. Application details can be found here.

The Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin is looking for the new Head of the collection of graphic art and applied art, starting 1 May 2020. You can apply by 1 April. The description of the tasks and of requirements is described here.

Information related to upcoming deadlines that have been postponed due to Covid-19 emergency

All artists considering submitting their application for the international competition “Concorso internazionale Ex Libris 1769-2019” organised by the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara should contact the organising committee to agree on how to submit the artwork, as the Academy is closed at the present moment. Meanwhile, the deadline has been postponed until a later date.

If you are considering submitting a paper to the journal “Grafica d’Arte", but you can’t make it to the 31st March deadline because libraries&co are closed, please get in touch with the editorial board to arrange a later submission deadline (



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