barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

First Impressions

Early Acquisitions of Prints for the Barber Collection

The Barber Institute’s collection of works on paper is famed for its exemplary quality, due in no small part to the acquisitions of its first Director, Professor Thomas Bodkin.

This display focuses on the prints purchased for the collection in 1939, the year the Barber Institute opened, and provides a sequel to the summer display First Thoughts, which explored the very first prints acquired for the Barber Institute in 1936. Featuring a broad historical range of works by – or after – Dürer, Piranesi, Rembrandt, Claude, Turner, Goya, Whistler and other masters, it includes historical and figure subjects, portraits, architectural studies and landscapes. The display will also look at the different media and techniques of printing as well as delighting in the range of genres.


Above Image: Francisco de Goya, ‘Don’t scream, silly,’ etching with aquatint and drypoint, Inv. 39.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)

La vieille aux loques (The Old Rag-Picker)


William Hogarth (1697-1764)

Noon (second in sequence from 'The Four Times of the Day')


Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)

St Christopher


John Sloan (1871-1951)

The Little Bride (New York City Life Series)