New Acquisitions in Prints

Dr Christopher Allen provides an update on printmaking acquisitions made in 2021

to enhance our growing teaching collection.


As printmaking in its various forms became an increasingly important part of our teaching at College Street a few years ago, we decided to gather the best of the prints that we already held into a teaching collection at the east end of Level 6 and began, in 2019, to make a few selective purchases in order to expand its range and usefulness both as an art-historical and practical resource.

Our first acquisition was a fine example of a Japanese colour woodblock by Kunisada; we then obtained a masterpiece of seventeenth-century etching by Salvator Rosa as well as a beautiful modern etching by Sydney Ure Smith, a mezzotint by Richard Earlom after Claude Lorrain and, thanks to the generosity of our dealer Mr Josef Lebovic, an outstanding example of seventeenth-century engraving by Paulus Pontius. By the end of 2019, our miniature print museum thus displayed examples of most of the main techniques of relief and intaglio printmaking.

A. H. Fullwood (Aust., 1863- 1930).
North Head From Edwards Beach [Balmoral],
1924 Etching, 15.2 x 25cm.

Julian R. Ashton
The Ferry,
1893 Etching, 15 x 25.1cm

Lindsay cat print.jpg

Lionel Lindsay
The Black Cat,
1922 Wood engraving, 18.2 x 15.2 cm

In 2020, we decided to focus on the golden age of Australian printmaking, from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth. To the Sydney Ure Smith etching already acquired in 2019, we now added a drypoint by Elioth Gruner, a wood engraving by Lionel Lindsay and a linocut by Adelaide Perry. Once again Mr Lebovic added a gift to our three purchases, this time another fine linocut by Lisette Kohlhagen. These new acquisitions have been hung for the time being in the Headmaster’s Schoolroom, now also the new home of the Rare Book Collection.

In 2021 we began by purchasing three contemporary examples of etching and aquatint by Stephanie Jane Rampton from Australian Galleries; these are now hanging in Mr Watkins’ study. From Mr Lebovic we acquired another masterpiece of wood engraving by Lionel Lindsay, The Black Cat (1922) and our oldest Australian work so far, Julian Ashton’s The Ferry (1893). Once again Mr Lebovic supplemented our purchases with the gift of a fine etching North Head From Edwards Beach (1924) by A.H. Fullwood, a close friend of Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts.

Stephanie Jane Rampton
Resting Place,
2020 Etching and aquatint, 8 x 8 cm

Stephanie Jane Rampton
Winding Path,

2020 Etching and aquatint, 10 x 10 cm

Rampton - Towards Patterdale (Suite).jpg

Stephanie Jane Rampton
Towards Patterdale,
2017 Etching and aquatint, 40 x 120 cm

Prints represent one of the few undervalued areas of the art market, where it is still possible to acquire museum-quality works for an extremely modest price. We hope to be able to continue to develop this important teaching collection over the next few years, and would welcome offers of gifts or bequests that would complement our current holdings. In the longer run, we are considering the Level 7 corridor, after appropriate refurbishment, as a permanent home for the expanded Print Collection.