Press Release

American Impressions: A Nation in Prints Opens at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College

October 8, 2021 - POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Vassar College’s Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center will present the exhibition American Impressions: A Nation in Prints, on view October 9, 2021 – February 6, 2022.

Guest curated by Calvin Brown, independent scholar and recently retired Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Princeton University Art Museum, the exhibition seeks to trace the amorphous evolution of symbolic representations of the United States expressed in the history of American printmaking from the colonial era to the present day.

As noted by T. Barton Thurber, the Anne Hendricks Bass Director of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, “the diversity, quality, and beauty of the works in the exhibition reflect a remarkable collection that dates back to the founding of the College and also includes a number of recent acquisitions.” Presenting approximately fifty prints, rare books, and photographs selected from the collections of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center and the Department of Special Collections at the Library at Vassar College, the exhibition is divided into four thematic sections:  

  • Allegorical Landscapes presents a series 19th century landscape views that depict the new nation either in a state of pastoral harmony or as a sublime wilderness experience;
  • Narrative Histories delineates the role printmaking played in the creation of multiple, often competing historical narratives in forging an American identity;
  • American Identities captures the many faces and origins of the American people depicted by printmakers and photographers in the wide variety of printed materials published in the modern era;
  • Contemporary Complexities reflects on the rise of printmaking in America following the Second World War, when New York emerged as the creative center of Modern Art.

Within each section, the prints have been organized chronologically as a series of visual discourses that consider multiple, often contradictory narratives, and reveal the complex identity of America as a nation. Produced in multiples, prints are inexpensive, portable artworks that can spread graphic ideas to a wide range of people, in the same way printed text does for the written word. As a result, prints have played an important role in shaping the image of the nation to those who live in America and to the world at large.

American Impressions: A Nation in Prints is funded by The Friends of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center Fund.

About the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center was originally established in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery.  The current 36,400-square-foot facility, designed by Cesar Pelli and named in honor of the new building's primary donor, opened in 1993.  Vassar was the first U.S. college founded with an art museum as a part of its original plans, and at any given time the galleries of the Loeb feature works from its extensive collections.  The Loeb's collections chart the history of art from antiquity to the present and comprise over 22,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and ceramic wares.  Notable holdings include the Warburg Collection of Old Master prints, an important group of Hudson River School paintings given by Matthew Vassar at the college's inception, and a wide range of works by major European and American 20th-century artists.

Admission to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is free and all galleries are wheelchair accessible.  The Loeb is now open to the public Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm and Thursdays until 7pm.  The Loeb is located at 124 Raymond Avenue near the entrance to the Vassar College campus. Parking is available on Raymond Avenue. Directions to the Vassar campus in Poughkeepsie, NY, can be found at

The Art Center is also accessible via the Dutchess County Public Transit, Bus Route L.  For additional information, the public may call (845) 437-5632 or visit  

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that Vassar stands upon the homelands of the Munsee Lenape, Indigenous peoples who have an enduring connection to this place despite being forcibly displaced by European colonization.  Munsee Lenape peoples continue today as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community in Wisconsin, the Delaware Tribe and the Delaware Nation in Oklahoma, and the Munsee-Delaware Nation in Ontario.  This acknowledgment, however, is insufficient without our reckoning with the reality that every member of the Vassar community since 1861 has benefited from these Native peoples’ displacement, and it is hollow without our efforts to counter the effects of structures that have long enabled—and that still perpetuate—injustice against Indigenous Americans. To that end, we commit to build and sustain relationships with Native communities; to expand opportunities at Vassar for Native students, as well as Native faculty and other employees; and to collaborate with Native nations to know better the Indigenous peoples, past and present, who care for this land.

Vassar College is a coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Contact: Alison Hendrie,, (914) 450-3340

October 8, 2021


Louis Lozowick  Hudson Bridge (George Washington Bridge), 1929
Louis Lozowick
Hudson Bridge (George Washington Bridge), 1929


Andy Warhol  Jackie II
Andy Warhol
Jackie II, Trial Proof, 1966


John Wilson  James Stroud  Bennett Morris  Head Study, 2002
John Wilson
James Stroud
Bennett Morris
Head Study, 2002


Download high-resolution images from the Vassar College Media Relations' Flickr site.