Drawing in the nineteenth century was a popular medium for its convenience, requiring little beyond a sheet of paper and something with which to draw. Before painting, one learned to draw as an exercise, but it also came in handy for rendering quick impressions in the days before snapshot photography. In this way, nineteenth-century American artists rendered nearly all facets of daily life, whether recordings of their travels, commissioned illustrations, portraits of loved ones, or studies of a passerby on the street.
Fine Lines celebrates a recent gift to the High of 50 late nineteenth-century drawings from Atlanta collector Paul Stein that will be on view at the Museum for the first time. In addition, the exhibition features a suite of watercolors on loan from Stein. Together, these works highlight the diversity of makers (women and men, famous and obscure) and the range of uses (from the casual to the formal) associated with works on paper in nineteenth-century America.