New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Open now. Ends May 27th, 2016.
This unusually forward-thinking collection was assembled by Henrietta Louisa Koenen (1830–1881), wife of the first director of the Rijksmuseum Print Room in Amsterdam. From 1848 until 1861, she pursued her own keen interest in prints by acquiring an astonishing array of sheets by women artists of the 16th to the 19th century. The prints on view were executed by experts and amateurs alike, who pursued their craft as a means of achieving both self-realization and economic freedom.
Further situating the prints in an historical and artistic context are supplementary works from the New York Public Library’s collections, among them examples by Esther Inglis, Elisabetta Parasole, and Maria Sibylla Merian. Like Koenen’s collection, acquired by the Library in a 1900 bequest, and unless otherwise noted, all materials are either from the Spencer Collection or from the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs.