University Art Collection

The University of Louisville Art Collection was formally initiated in 1937, when the Carnegie Corporation of New York at the request of Dr. Richard Krautheimer, then head of the University of Louisville Department of Fine Arts, presented 104 original prints to the department. Among these were etchings by Millet, Whistler, and Rouault, and the complete set of Goyas Caprichos.

Other gifts have followed since then, from private individuals as well as group entities. Intimately associated with the growth of the collection has been the name of Morris B. Belknap, Jr., who acquired original prints, drawings and some paintings for the collection and left a bequest, the income from which has been the chief source of funds for the purchase of original works of art. The collection now numbers more than 3000 pieces, counting prints, drawings, paintings and sculpture.

The collection has a twofold purpose: 1) to fulfill a pedagogical role in the University's art curriculum; and 2) to enrich the cultural resources of the University and, consequently, of the community. The University's substantial collection of original prints and drawings is accessible to Fine Arts graduate students for study and research. It has proved to be especially fruitful for independent projects, such as M.A. theses, one exploring the development of Edouard Manet's etching style, another the significance of Sylvia Wald as a pioneer American practitioner of the art of serigraphy, and a third assessing the impact of Stoic philosophy on Goyas Caprichos, as well as a Curatorial Study of the chronological position of our impressions of the Caprichos relative to the recorded editions of this work.