The Robert Wood Johnson, Jr. Gallery displays highlights of European and American prints, drawings, and illustrated books from the Museum's vast holdings of works on paper.
Because of their sensitivity to light, these works cannot be on permanent exhibition; each installation remains on view for approximately 13 weeks. The rotations of the gallery consist of diverse pieces—new acquisitions as well as works that might not find their way into a major exhibition. They are selected to show the breadth and quality of the Museum's holdings, ranging from the Renaissance to the present.
Highlights from this rotation include woodcuts from The Apocalypse by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528); a selection of etchings by contemporaries Rembrandt (1606–1669) and Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609–1664); a group of prints about Silenus, the drunken and slovenly companion of the Greek god of wine Dionysus; a diverse selection of drawings and prints from the 19th century through the present around the theme of spiders and spider webs; a group of sketch plates illustrating how printmakers through the centuries have used etching plates for informal studies; graphic designs by Austrian artist Erwin Puchinger (1875–1944); and drawings by Léon Bakst (1866–1924) for the Ballets Russes.