Currently on display from the permanent collection are a variety of American and British prints, including:
• British caricatures and popular printsfrom the late 18th and early 19th century were a form of social commentary, poking fun at national figures, international figures and societal vices, and were published inexpensively, serving a function similar to magazines and news programs today.
• Engravings by William Hogarthare satirical caricatures that suggest a moral message for viewers. Hogarth’s work was aimed at the general public, not just the upper classes who were the traditional patrons of artists. His engravings were a means of sharing his art—originally created as paintings—with a wide public.
• Ben Shahn’s Rilke Portfoliofeatures heartfelt images, simply drawn and remarkable for their emotional power. The simplicity of the renowned American social realist’s work contrasts sharply with many of the more detailed images on view.
• The maritime history of Erieis depicted in another group of prints, commemorating the victory of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry in the Battle of 1812 and celebrating the city’s Great Lakes setting.