Scope and Content
Title: Landscape Prints and Drawings Collection
Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts
Collection is open for research.
For publication information, please contact Claudine Dixon, Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts,
[Identification of item], Collection of the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, UCLA. [Item credit line, if given]
Scope and Content
Since its founding in 1956 the Grunwald Center has acquired a formidable number of landscape prints and drawings dating from
the Renaissance to the present. A 1988 bequest of more than 850 landscape prints and drawings from the collection of Los Angeles
architect Rudolf L. Baumfeld significantly enhanced this wide-ranging and well-studied thematic area. Given its many strengths,
the Baumfeld Bequest is a fitting locus for a brief examination of landscape art in the Center's collection.
Throughout its history, landscape art has encompassed diverse documentary, emotional, and aesthetic responses to nature, recording
perhaps more clearly than any other genre of the visual arts the relationship between society and the environment. As noted
in the exhibition catalogue, The Rudolf L. Baumfeld Collection of Landscape Drawings and Prints, the major strengths of the
collection lie within the most fertile periods of landscape art, particularly the seventeenth century in the Netherlands,
the eighteenth to early twentieth century in Britain, and the nineteenth century in France. A number of individual artists
are well represented, including Claude Lorrain, Rembrandt van Rijn, Canaletto, Samuel Palmer, Edward Lear, Charles Meryon,
James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and Graham Sutherland. In general, however, Baumfeld's acquisitions were consistently varied,
and during any given month his records reveal purchases representing widely disparate historical periods and regional schools.
Throughout all periods represented, most works are pure landscapes or feature architectural ruins or urban views, suggesting
that Baumfeld's primary interest was landscape representation as the subject of a work of art, not as a background setting
for narrative subjects. One is tempted to look for a particular orientation on the part of the collector, and certainly the
omission of certain types of landscapes that depict nature at its most spectacular--the works of Salvator Rosa and John Martin,
for example--might lead one to suggest that the collection is oriented toward a more rational and harmonious view of nature,
an idea supported by its numerous cityscapes, the ultimate expression of a civilized landscape. This suggestion is dispelled
by the breadth of the collection, however, which indicates that the collector's intention was to develop a comprehensive view
of landscape representation, showing how artists of diverse periods and nationalities expressed their experience of nature.
For this finding aid, the presentation of selected landscape prints and drawings from the Baumfeld bequest is complemented
by additional landscape art in the Center's holdings. The works are arranged by artist nationality and period. Extended notes
for works in the Baumfeld bequest draw considerably from the aforementioned exhibition catalogue, The Rudolf L. Baumfeld Collection
of Landscape Drawings and Prints, published by the Grunwald Center, University of California, Los Angeles, in 1989.