Under Cover: Artists' Sketchbooks

, Fogg Museum

Edouard Manet, Study for “Interior at Arcachon,” 1871. Watercolor, brown ink, and graphite on off-white wove graph paper. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of William G. Russell Allen, 1957.59.

Fogg Museum

Designed to be easily portable, a sketchbook is often kept in an artist’s pocket and offers an unusually personal glimpse into the artist at work. Drawings and notes in sketchbooks vary from travel sketches and nature and figure studies to copies after the old masters, expense accounts, and lists of pictures. Some sketchbooks are self-conscious, with every page signed, while others are filled with seemingly random, hastily drawn sketches and doodles. Still others reveal the progression of an idea or are conceived as a whole.

This exhibition features a selection of over 70 of the Fogg’s important sketchbooks, including works by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Jacques-Louis David, Sanford Gifford, Edward Burne-Jones, John Singer Sargent, Reginald Marsh, George Grosz, and Christopher Wilmarth. The installation also presents 45 pages from sketchbooks by John Constable, Edouard Manet, Henry Moore, Brice Marden, and others. Organized by Miriam Stewart, assistant curator, Department of Drawings, Fogg Museum.

A website, harvardartmuseums.org/sketchbooks, focusing on a selection of sketchbooks from the collections of the Harvard Art Museums, accompanies the exhibition.