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Series II: Artwork, 1931–1999

Call Number: YCAL MSS 1053, Series II

Scope and Contents

Series II. Artwork, documents Steinberg’s artistic production and activities, primarily after his immigration to the United States. The bulk of the series consists of original works on paper including drawings, paintings, and collage, and 225 sketchbooks that serve as a record of Steinberg’s evolving styles and artistic practice, although the series does not represent Steinberg’s complete oeuvre. This series consists of part of the artworks in Steinberg’s possession at the time of his death, another part of which is held by the Saul Steinberg Foundation. Many drawings are related to works published in the New Yorker, in Steinberg’s books, and in other publications. Drawings and other artworks are listed across three subseries: Drawings, paintings, and collage; Process materials; and Sketchbooks. Researchers should refer to all three subseries when searching for specific works. Also included in Series II. Artwork are Steinberg’s early photomontages or “photoworks” for Flair magazine, and photographs of Steinberg’s ephemeral works including his Masks collaboration with photographer Inge Morath, various murals, and other installations and site-specific works. Steinberg’s artistic practice is also documented through process materials used in art production including a large group of photocopies. Process materials include artist tools, folders of reference materials, and what appear to be studies and sketches and as well as some other works that did not receive Saul Steinberg Foundation inventory numbers. Steinberg began using rubber stamps in the early 1950s to apply geometric pattern, mimic bureaucratic documents, and create repeated characters over a series of works. This series includes 375 rubber stamps collected, created, and used by Steinberg in his artwork. Also included is Steinberg’s collection of photographic reproductions of his work arranged by topic, style, or series, in binders and other groups.


  • 1931–1999


Language of Materials

From the Collection:

In English, Italian, French, Romanian, and German.

Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection:

This collection is open for research.

Box 145, folder 2710 (medical records): Restricted until 2046. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Box 145, folder 2709 (medical records): Restricted until 2061. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Box 146 (medical records): Restricted until 2049. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Box 640, folders 7373, 7374, and 7377: Restricted until January 1, 2032. For more information consult the appropriate curator.

Boxes 253, and 635-636 (motion picture film): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Boxes 640-643 (sound recordings, audio tapes, and video recordings): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.


Series II is organized into eight subseries: Drawings, Paintings, and Collage; Masks Collaboration with Inge Morath; Photoworks; Photographs of Sculpture and Installations; Process Materials; Sketchbooks; Rubber Stamps; and Reproductions of Artwork.

Related Materials

Steinberg’s sculptural works and additional works on paper, including large format works and portraits, are held by the Saul Steinberg Foundation and other museums, repositories, and private collections.


390 Linear Feet ((274 boxes) + 1 roll, 15 broadsides.)

Processing Information

Prior to acquisition by the Beinecke Library, Steinberg’s drawings and sketchbooks were minimally described and assigned unique identification numbers (referred to in this guide as Saul Steinberg Foundation numbers) by professional art appraisers. This information was collected in a database and enhanced by the Saul Steinberg Foundation which shared the database with the Beinecke Library. Much of this information has been repurposed and revised by library staff for item-level description of the artwork in this subseries. Original identification numbers from the Saul Steinberg Foundation database have been maintained at the item level and are expressed as a four-digit number with the prefix "SSF". The Saul Steinberg Foundation numbers were assigned to items as they were received by the estate inventory team from Steinberg’s home, studio, and storage space. Saul Steinberg Foundation numbers were added to the verso of each work in pencil prior to the collection’s arrival at the library.

In April 2020, the following file was moved from the Process Materials subseries to the Drawings, Paintings, and Collage subseries: Smithsonian Institution Artist-in-Residence Program notes and drawings including seventy-six drawings on Smithsonian stationery and blank stationery (SSF7168).

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.