Hidden Treasure: the Goebel Print Collection

This past week the library was visited by a preservation specialist from the Conservation Center for the Arts & Historical Artifacts. In May of 2009, we applied for a Preservation Assistance Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and was awarded grant funds to use toward the assessment of our special collections housed in Warner.  This assessment report will help us focus on what areas of the collection need special preservation and what steps to take in order to better care for them. One particular collection of importance is our Goebel Print Collection, which was donated to Eastern in the 1960s by New York lawyer Harry C. Goebel after hearing about Eastern from his minister.

One of the university’s prized collections, the Harry C. Goebel Print Collection, consists of 1,315 single original prints done in all media of print making, including: etching, dry point, copper and steel engravings, lithography, woodcut, wood engraving, screen printing, and some original drawings. Included in the collection are early prints up to and including modern prints by most of the best known printmakers of the 20th century. The prints range in date from 1498 to 1970. Early prints from artists such as Rembrandt, Durer, Schongauer, Buhot, Callot, Daumier, Goya, Haden, Legros, McBey, Manet, Meryon, Pennell, Rosenberg, Whistler, Turner, Piranesi, Picasso, Braque, Chagall, Kent, and Rouault are featured in this collection. It also contains some pieces by the German Impressionists and many other famous artists of America, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. Work from all of the leading print makers of the 19th and 20th centuries are included in this collection.

Currently, the prints are housed in 27 wooden boxes, while some prints are framed. When Goebel donated the collection, he also donated his notes, books on print making, and a descriptive list of the collection that contained information on each print. For the past year we have worked on creating a digital copy of his list, recording information on each print and capturing an image of it. Future plans for the collection are still being worked out, but in the meantime, we’re sharing with you a few of our favorite pieces from the collection.

For more information about the Goebel Print Collection, check out Alfonz Lengyel’s book Selected Prints from the Goebel Collection at Eastern College, which can be checked out of the library.

1 reply »

  1. This is wonderful to see. Harry Goebel was a lifetime friend of our family. It is amazing to see the outstanding job you are doing to make the collection available for others to enjoy. I have great memories of the times Harry and I spent together on the third floor of his brownstone on Moffat Street in Brooklyn looking through the prints and his large collection of Japanese sword guards. He started my print collection by “seeding” it with some of his prints. I still have them, some in boxes and others framed and hung for my family to enjoy. Thank you for doing such a wonderful job with his collection. I would love to visit sometime and look through the collection.

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