The Metropolitan Museum of Art began acquiring American drawings in 1880 and has since amassed a spectacular collection of more than 1,400 works in watercolor, pastel, ink, graphite, chalk, and charcoal. This beautifully produced catalogue, the first volume in a series devoted to the museum's rich holdings, presents works by artists born before 1835, including such great American artists as John Singleton Copley, Thomas Cole, George Inness, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.
In his introduction, Kevin J. Avery describes the acquisitions history of American drawings at the Metropolitan from 1880 to the present day. Marjorie Shelley writes on the materials and techniques used by American draftsmen from the eighteenth century until about 1875. The catalogue section of the book features 106 of the Museum's choicest drawings and watercolors, discussed in detail and reproduced in color. A checklist follows of the museum's complete collection of early works on paper, with black-and-white illustrations of 430 additional works and brief artist biographies. 453 b-w + 128 color illus.