Drawing Closer invites us to consider how and why drawings were created, paying special attention to the materials they were made of and to the functions they served both in the artist’s studio and in the world outside it. Eight distinct but interrelated sections explore media and techniques such as pen, chalk, ink wash, and watercolor, as well as some of the traditional purposes of drawing, including observation, invention, preparation, and amusement.
This exhibition brings together 85 works from the RISD Museum’s remarkable collection of European drawings produced between the 1500s and the 1800s—some recently acquired, others never before exhibited. Drawing Closer is conceived as a guide to looking at these works from the perspectives of their makers while highlighting the breadth, depth, and variety of a living collection that is used today to teach and inspire students and visitors.
This project is made possible by a lead grant from the Getty Foundation. RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and Museum Governors.