In 2018, scientists working in a cave outside Capetown, South Africa discovered red crayon markings on a stone believed to be the earliest known drawing, about 73,000 years old.  Fast forward to the 1980s and we find prolific Pop artist Keith Haring embellishing blank surfaces in the New York City subway with what would amount to over 5,000 chalk drawings.  Ancient and modern, this impulse to draw seems to be hard-wired into all Homo sapiens as what author D.B. Dowd calls a personal capacity for visual thinking.

The practice of drawing invites the brain to engage concepts and objects in new ways: mapping, problem-solving, observing, remembering, inventing— a process that unfolds dynamically across all spheres of human activity from engineering to illustration. 

The art of drawing is the flourishing of this human capacity. Join us as we think through the many forms and functions of drawing, exploring examples from the museum collection and the community.  The exhibition includes works by Natalie Alper, Keith Haring, Jose Clemente Orozco, Cao Yingyi, Maurice Prendergast, George Segal, Anita Weschler, and many others.

View the exhibition on Artstor

To learn more about the community artists included in the digital portion of this exhibition click here.

Listen to a "Songs To Create To" community playlist created by the featured community artists on Spotify.

Exhibition and programs supported by The Breen Foundation

Free education programs and events will invite everyone to make their mark--no prior training or experience required. Join us throughout the year for opportunities to hear from experts from a variety of fields of inquiry, participate in hands-on activities, attend community events, and more.