de Saisset Museum

South Bay's free museum of art and history

Works on Paper & Photography

The collection of works on paper and photography is among the strongest areas of the de Saisset's holdings and includes historical, modern, and contemporary objects.




Highlights from the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and 19th-century periods include prints by Albrecht Dürer, William Hogarth, and Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

From the Modern period, the de Saisset Museum holds works by artists such as Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.

The Museum houses an extensive collection of contemporary prints, with a special emphasis on artists from the San Francisco Bay Area, including Robert Arneson, Robert Bechtle, David Best, Christopher Brown, Joan Brown, Richard Diebenkorn, David Gilhooly, Frank Lobdell, Manuel Neri, Nathan Oliveira, Wayne Thiebaud, and William Wiley.

The de Saisset holds the archive for Smith Andersen Editions, a nationally recognized fine art press based in Palo Alto, California that specializes in monotype and monoprint. The archive consists of approximately 170 works by contemporary artists including Enrique Chagoya, Joseph Goldyne, Italo Scanga, Mariam Schapiro, and Joseph Zirker.




The de Saisset Museum's photography collection is particularly rich in work by 20th-century West Coast photographers. A notable component of the de Saisset's photographic holdings is the Helen Johnston Collection. Johnston was the founder of San Francisco's Focus Gallery, which exhibited work by pioneering contemporary photographers from 1966-1985. The de Saisset's collection includes work by photographers such as Ansel Adams, Ruth Bernhard, Wynn Bullock, Lisette Model, Edward Steichen, Weegee, Brett Weston, and Edward Weston.

In addition to original photographic prints, the Museum holds sets of study prints from the Library of Congress of works by Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, and Jacob Riis.

Images, top to bottom: Hung Liu, Olympia, 2004, paperplate monoprint, published by Trilium Graphics, 45 x 33.5 in., de Saisset Museum permanent collection, Gift from the Marmor Foundation in honor of Paula Kirkeby, 2008.2.3. Judy Dater, Self Portrait Sequence No. 1 (My Hands, Death Vallery), 1982, gelatin silver print, 22.75 x 28.75 inches, de Saisset Museum permanent collection, gift of Judy Dater, 6.364.1986.