Prints and Drawings

The Department of Prints and Drawings is responsible for more than 20,000 drawings and watercolors, 35,000 prints, and 3,000 photographs from the sixteenth century to now.

The collection is wide-ranging, from Tudor drawings and portrait miniatures to outstanding examples of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century watercolors by notable artists such as William Blake, J. M. W. Turner, and John Constable, to architectural drawings, and works relating to the former British Empire, especially the Subcontinent, the Caribbean, and the African diaspora. The collection has exceptional topographical prints, caricatures, mezzotint portraits, sporting art, and modern and contemporary prints, as well as a growing collection of photographs from the birth of photography to now.

Thomas Rowlandson, An Audience Watching a Play at Drury Lane Theatre (detail), ca. 1785

Study Room

The Study Room provides access to works in the Center’s Prints and Drawings, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and Institutional Archives collections. The Study Room is also used for teaching from these collections, and staff members are available for advice on planning classes.

The Study Room is open to the public, Tuesday–Friday, 10 am–4:30 pm. Appointments are recommended but not required. To request materials, first-time visitors are encouraged to preregister online. The Study Room is closed on Mondays, Good Friday, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and the days between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. For further information, please contact the Study Room ( | +1 203 432 2840).

Learn more

Visitors in the Study Room, Yale Center for British Art, photo by Stephanie Anestis

Explore the Center's Collections

Over 100,000 records from the Paintings and Sculpture, Prints and Drawings, Rare Books and Manuscripts, Reference Library, and Institutional Archives collections are searchable online, along with nearly all of the Center's historic frames.

Begin your search

Philippe Mercier, The Sense of Sight (detail), 1744 to 1747

Contact the Prints and Drawings department at | +1 203 432 2840 +1 203 432 7314 fax