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Acquisition and Appraisal Information

Acquisition of Works on Paper | Acquisition Funding | Appraisal Information | Featured Acquisitions

Acquisition of Works on Paper

For Full Employment After the War, Register, Vote

Ben Shahn, For Full Employment After the War, Register, Vote, 1944. Purchase. LC-USZC4-6619
[More information]

Unique in their scope and richness, the collections of the Prints and Photographs Division include documentary, news, and master photography, fine prints and popular graphic art, posters, political and social cartoons and caricatures, architectural plans and renderings, and engineering drawings. These visual documents are keys to a more complete understanding of the people, events, and achievements that have shaped the history and culture of the United States, and to a lesser extent the modern histories of Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Division curators are responsible for enhancing the collections through purchase and gift and would like to learn about the availability of outstanding items and collections of historical and modern works. Our interests are worldwide and without regard to time period, language, or geographic area.

For information about the Prints and Photograph Division's acquisition program and before mailing any materials, please contact Verna Curtis, Curator, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress 20540-4730. (Please see information about security precautions with regard to mail delivery.) Telephone (direct): 202-707-8938. FAX 202-707-6647. email: vcur@loc.gov

The Division acquires works that:

  • Build on collection strengths
  • Fill identified gaps in the collections
  • Document events of national political, historical, or cultural interest
  • Represent noteworthy artists
  • Document changing styles and techniques in pictorial media
  • Support the collection strengths of other divisions of the Library
John Ross, full length portrait, facing front standing next to a small table

John Ross, full length portrait, facing front standing next to a small table, ca. 1850. Purchase. LC-USZC4-11120
[More information]

Acquisition Funding

The Prints and Photographs Division depends upon financial donations from private individuals and organizations to supplement appropriated funds in order to purchase new works and enhance existing collections. The Division therefore welcomes donations to any of the following special gift and trust funds:

Carol M. Highsmith Fund
To support the donation of the lifetime body of work, copyright-free, of this renowned architectural photographer. Her collection of tens of thousands of images--most captured in large format over a long and distinguished career--will greatly enhance and expand the Library's collections in architectural photography and related subjects, including human interaction with the built environment. Monies received will help underwrite the costs of scanning, printing, and archiving this invaluable collection. The fund will also allow the Library to solicit carefully selected donations for the commission of new architectural photography that will help it to improve its collections and fulfill its mission.

Pairs of birds, animals and 

                insects grouped in and around a tree

Paul Goble, [Pairs of birds, animals and insects grouped in and around a tree], 1995. Gift of the artist.
LC-DIG-ppmsca-02215
[More information]

Various Donors Curatorial Fund
Supports activities of the Curatorial Section, including travel and research.

Various Donors Reference Fund
Supports increased accessibility of Prints and Photographs Division collections through digital imaging and captioning for the Division's website.

Center for American Architecture, Design and Engineering
A bequest from the distinguished American architect, Paul Rudolph, and the contributions of individuals, foundations and corporations, established the Center for American Architecture, Design and Engineering in 2002. The Center's purpose is to focus attention on, encourage support for, and promote the study of the Library's unmatched architecture, design, and engineering collections. Further, it's goal is to increase the percentage of the collections available through the Library's website. The Center is seeking additional funding to support the Center and its programs from the private sector, corporations and foundations. It seeks to create a special endowment to support an annual or biennial lecture by scholars-in-residence, and/or distinguished architects, designers, and engineers, and result in a publication.

Hotel Lake Geneva,  Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Frank Lloyd Wright, Hotel Lake Geneva, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, 1911. Gift of Nancy Hart Glanville. LC-USZC4-8164
[More information]

The Paul Rudolph Trust Fund
To establish and provide support for the programs and goals of the Center for Architecture, Design and Engineering in the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress is pleased to accept contributions in Mr. Rudolph's name as additions to the Paul Rudolph Trust. Checks should be made payable to "the Library of Congress - Paul Rudolph Trust."

Donations to any of these funds should be made payable to the Library of Congress in the appropriate fund name and forwarded to the Development Office, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540-1400. Contributions are deductible for tax purposes to the full extent of the law.

Appraisal Information

The Library of Congress does not appraise photographs, prints, or other materials. Judgments on the genuineness or authenticity of a work of art are reliable only when based on a first-hand examination of the work. The advice of creditable dealers, appraisers, or curators of local historical societies or museums should be sought in these matters.

Resources for locating appraisers include:

Helpful advice about researching and authenticating art and photos is available at:

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Featured Acquisitions

Please see our "What's New in P&P" page for recent highlights. Some acquisitions featured in the past:
Head of Minerva. Painting by Elihu Vedder Head of Minerva. Painting by Elihu Vedder, 1896. [More information] Lindy wiping dust from sunflower. Drawing by Jerry Pinkney, 1992 (frontispiece for Drylongso by V. Hamilton) Lindy wiping dust from sunflower. Drawing by Jerry Pinkney, 1992 (frontispiece for Drylongso by V. Hamilton). [More information]
Charlotte Cushman. Daguerreotype, ca. 1855. Charlotte Cushman. Daguerreotype, ca. 1855. [More information] William Cotton. Mr. Wells Evolving a Cosmic Thought Mr. Wells Evolving a Cosmic Thought. Pastel on illustration board by William Cotton, ca. 1935. [ More information]
For Full Employment After the War, Register, Vote. Prints by Ben Shahn, 1944
For Full Employment After the War, Register, Vote. Prints by Ben Shahn, 1944. [More information]
Union Pacific [bridge at Green River, Wyoming]. Photograph by Major Gen. Leonard Wood, The governor gen.[eral] of Cuba. Photograph by Mark Ruwedel  after Russell, 1996 Photographs by Mark Ruwedel, 1996. [More information]
Major Gen. Leonard Wood, The governor gen.[eral] of Cuba. Photograph by Zaida Ben-Yusuf, copyright 1900.
Major Gen. Leonard Wood, The governor gen.[eral] of Cuba. Photograph by Zaida Ben-Yusuf, copyright 1900. [More information]
Untitled (KKK Boutique Ain't Just Rednecks). Print by Camille Billops, 1993 Untitled (KKK Boutique Ain't Just Rednecks). Print by Camille Billops, 1993. [More information]
Kogiku in Saruwaka-Cho, from the series, "Thirty-Six Tokyo Restaurants." Print by Toyohara Kunichika, 1878
Kogiku in Saruwaka-Cho, from the series, "Thirty-Six Tokyo Restaurants." Print by Toyohara Kunichika, 1878. [More information] The lobby of the White House, copyright 1904 by Detroit Photographic Company White House interiors. Platinum photographs by the Detroit Photographic Company, copyright 1904. [More information]
Sam Houston, full-length portrait, facing right. Photograph, 1856 or 1857
Sam Houston, full-length portrait, facing right. Photograph, 1856 or 1857. [More information] Pairs of birds, animals and insects grouped in and around a tree. Drawing by Paul Goble, 1995 Pairs of birds, animals and insects grouped in and around a tree. Drawing by Paul Goble, 1995. [More information]
Unofficial Portraits: The Maiden. Print by Hung Liu, 2001
Unofficial Portraits: The Maiden. Print by Hung Liu, 2001. [More information] John Ross, full length portrait, facing front standing next to a small table. Daguerreotype, ca. 1850 John Ross, full length portrait, facing front standing next to a small table. Daguerreotype, ca. 1850. [More information]
Percy MacKaye as Alwyn. Autochrome by Arnold Genthe, 1913
Percy MacKaye as Alwyn. Autochrome by Arnold Genthe, 1913 [More information] Ritchey Litho. Corp., "Adventures of Tarzan," Print by Ritchey Litho. Corp., 1921 Ritchey Litho. Corp., "Adventures of Tarzan," Print by Ritchey Litho. Corp., 1921. [More information]
Know all men by these presents. Drawing by Coles Phillips, ca. 1910
Know all men by these presents. Drawing by Coles Phillips, ca. 1910. [More information] Mother Green with Bible. Photograph print by Milton Rogovin, between 1958 and 1963 Mother Green with Bible. Photograph print by Milton Rogovin, [between 1958 and 1963] [More information]
James Kelly, artist. August. Charles Randall Dean Collection
James Kelly, artist. August. Color lithograph, 1952. Charles Randall Dean Collection.
[More information] [Press release]
Nicholas Price, photographer. Honor Guard. Honor Guard by Nicholas Price. Copyrighted 2005.
[More information]
James Kelly, artist. August. Charles Randall Dean Collection

Silent Cities Project by Camilo J. Vergara


[More information]
 
Hotel Lake Geneva, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Drawing by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1911 Hotel Lake Geneva, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Drawing by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1911. [More information]
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  May 20, 2013
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