Penn’s collection of prints and works on paper includes drawings, lithographs, engravings, etchings, and silkscreen imagery. Among the earliest works are prints by Albrecht Durer. In his woodcuts and engravings, such as The Dream of the Doctor, Durer revolutionized the art of printmaking in technical virtuosity and psychological depth. William Hogarth further developed the field of printmaking in the 18th century. Works from Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress series present a cautionary tale against the vices of lust, gambling, and alcohol.
The collection includes numerous limited edition prints by significant modern and contemporary artists. A notable example is Marc Chagall’s Bible Series, which illustrates passages from the Old Testament in the artist’s fluid, dreamlike style. Later 20th century printmakers expanded the vocabulary of printmaking through collage. The Chow Bag series by Robert Rauschenberg incorporates hand-sewn elements within screenprint collage. In her Façade portfolio, Louise Nevelson translates her three-dimensional sculpture into collage.