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Drawings, paintings, and collage, 1931–1999

Call Number: YCAL MSS 1053, Series II

Scope and Contents

This subseries consists of approximately 2,875 works of art including drawings, sketches, studies, paintings, and collages created by Steinberg between the early 1930s and his death in 1999. Most of the works in this series were created after his immigration to the United States but some early drawings from his years in Milan are also included. This series records Steinberg’s artistic process and his practice of concept development. Imagery, themes, and concepts are repeated throughout the series and many works have the same or similar titles. Series include works from Steinberg’s books including All in Line, The Art of Living, The Passport, The Labyrinth, The Inspector, and The New World. Other themes include parades, Russia 1956, baseball, horse racing, maps, families, animals dressed as people, faux documents and certificates, and New York City landmarks and streets, including Canal Street and the Holland Tunnel. Steinberg’s use of false or “faux” calligraphy, stamps, seals, and other bureaucratic documentation are also present. Some works include the phrase “Ex Voto” in the title or notes. Steinberg used this term to describe illustrated scenes with short stories or descriptive captions written along the lower margin of the page. Steinberg often signed his work with the initials “ST” or with his last name. Many drawings include inscriptions and publishers’ and editors’ marks added at a later date on the recto and verso. Many inscriptions reference serials or books that the drawings appeared in or reference a published series or New Yorker feature. Many drawings have New Yorker copyright stamps or stickers on the verso. Steinberg’s use of pen and ink, graphite, wax crayons, and ink wash are most common among the works. Rubber stamp impressions, collage, and augmented photocopies are also present.


  • 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.


This subseries is arranged in ascending numeric order by Saul Steinberg Foundation numbers. Works lacking Saul Steinberg Foundation numbers are listed at the end of the subseries.

Processing Information

Many of the drawings in this subseries have manuscript dates noted on the recto in pencil. In some cases these dates were added by Steinberg at a later date and may not accurately reflect the date of creation. Circa dates were supplied to the archivist by the Saul Steinberg Foundation for drawings whose manuscript dates are in question. Drawings are primarily untitled. Titles in brackets were devised by the archivist to aid in access and discovery. Artworks that have appeared in gallery shows or exhibitions may be known by other titles assigned to those works by the gallery. These titles were supplied by the archivist when possible. Titles of double-sided drawings have two descriptive titles separated by a semicolon. Many works are alike and therefore have the same or similar titles. Researchers should refer to the Saul Steinberg Foundation number to distinguish between like works. Steinberg’s signature and other unique inscriptions are noted where present.

Processing Information

Some drawings were arranged by Steinberg in labeled folders grouped by a common theme, project, or publication. This arrangement was lost prior to the collection’s arrival at the library but may have been present when the Saul Steinberg Foundation’s database was created. When present, notes indicating Steinberg’s original arrangement have been retained. Original folders are filed in the Process Materials subseries.

Processing Information

Some drawings came to the library in frames. Unique frames and frames determined to be original to the works were preserved. Drawings with Pace Gallery exhibition frames were unframed and the frames were discarded. Drawings were kept in their original mats and labels from frames indicating storage and Pace Gallery exhibition information were retained or photocopied and filed with the original works.

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.