Visiting the collection
The British Museum has one of the world's greatest and most accessible collections of Western graphic art.
All are welcome to look, draw and be inspired by viewing prints and drawings in our study room and the selections of works shown in Rooms 90 and 90a in a series of temporary displays and exhibitions.
Our collection charts the development of the graphic arts in Europe from the early 1400s to today, and their spread to America and Australia.
It includes major holdings of works by Old Masters such as Dürer, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Hogarth and Goya, as well as modern and contemporary artists like Kollwitz, Picasso, Rego and Warhol.
We also hold notable collections of British satirical prints by artists such as Gillray and Rowlandson, Georgian paper ephemera and contemporary artists' postcards. We continue to expand the collection through purchase and donations, especially in the modern and contemporary field.
- It includes works, such as Dürer's drawing for his celebrated 'Rhinoceros' print, from the Museum's founding father, Sir Hans Sloane.
- There are about 50,000 drawings and more than two million prints.
- Highlighted on the Prints and drawings virtual gallery page, the Museum has one of only two Michelangelo cartoons.
- In 1816 Francis Towne was the first artist to donate graphic work to the Museum, a practice which continues to this day.