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Metalpoint Drawing through the Centuries

Note: dimensions are given in inches, followed by centimeters in parentheses. Height precedes width.

Modern and Contemporary

As the silverpoint revival died out in Britain in the early twentieth century, interest in metalpoint moved to the United States and, to a lesser extent, to Germany. The earliest American silverpoints reflect the medium’s capacity to create images of great delicacy and refinement, but artists quickly began to explore its other aspects. Some artists have challenged traditional assumptions about metalpoint: In an arresting self-portrait, for instance, Joseph Stella (1877 – 1946 ) demonstrated how powerful silver point can be, while Ivan Albright (1897 –1983) and Susan Schwalb (born 1944) experimented with a range of drawing instruments and metals, achieving unexpected color istic and tonal effects. An active community of artists continues to explore the possibilities of the medium in the United States today.