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Why Prints?

Dave H. and Reba White Williams, authors and collectors. Over more than four decades, Dave H. and Reba White Williams formed what is considered the largest and finest private collection of American prints, published 17 exhibition catalogs, and donated the majority of their collection to leading museums both in the United States and abroad. In the 6,000 prints they personally selected, they cover both familiar and totally unknown ground—from anonymous WPA artists of the Great Depression era to African American artists working in the 1930s and 1940s to George Bellows and Winslow Homer alike.  In this conversation recorded in the East Building Atrium on December 14, 2014, at the National Gallery of Art, the Williamses share insights from the memoir Small Victories: One Couple’s Surprising Adventures Building an Unrivaled Collection of American Prints. By reflecting on the nature of collecting and on the significance of popular culture, the couple provides a glimpse into how they set out to build a great collection of American prints and succeeded beyond their dreams.