Project Profile: Jasper Johns Catalogue Raisonné of Drawings

Jasper Johns. Two Flags, 1969. Graphite pencil and collage on paper. 22 1/4 x 30 3/4 in. The Menil Collection, Houston. © Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photograph: Jamie M. Stukenberg / Professional Graphics Inc., Rockford, Illinois.


Artist:  Jasper Johns (b. 1930)
Planned Title:  The Catalogue Raisonné of the Drawings of Jasper Johns
Years Covered:  1954-2014
Print or Digital:  Print
Publisher: To be announced
Database:  FileMaker
Schedule:  2011–2016; Expected publication date Fall 2016
Supported by:  The Menil Collection, Houston, in cooperation with the artist
Key Staff: Allegra Pesenti (Chief Curator of the Menil Drawing Institute), Bernice Rose (Advisor), Eileen Costello (Editor and Project Director); Kate Ganz (Senior Editor); Caroline Gabrielli (Senior Project Associate); Christian Wurst (Exhibitions Researcher); Kim Costello (Literature Researcher)

CRSA:  What are some of the Johns Drawings Catalogue Raisonné’s primary resources?
JJDCR:  At the start of our project, the artist’s studio provided us with Mr. Johns’s complete drawings inventory, which we migrated into our specially designed database. This laid the foundation for our research in addition to the numerous comprehensive retrospective exhibitions of Mr. Johns’s work that have taken place over the past several decades. We were also very fortunate to have access to invaluable primary resources located in the archives of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; The National Gallery, D.C; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Menil Foundation, and a number of commercial galleries. The Archives of American Art continues to be a rich resource, especially The Leo Castelli Gallery records, which became available the year we commenced our research. Our project has also benefited from the artist’s cooperation and his studio’s assistance, especially in regard to photography. Further, as a Menil Foundation project, we benefit from their reputation for publishing scholarly exhibition catalogues as well as the highly regarded René Magritte and Max Ernst catalogues raisonné.

CRSA:  This project is one of two separate catalogues raisonnés currently being prepared on the artist.  Is there any project overlap or opportunities to collaborate?
 Roberta Bernstein, under the aegis of the Wildenstein Institute, had begun work on a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s paintings and sculptures several years previous to our project. Although dealing with entirely different mediums, in a number of instances, the two projects often shared secondary (literature and exhibition) research, which proved mutually beneficial.

CRSA:  How do you hope this publication might affect the public’s understanding of Jasper Johns?
JJDCR:  The Drawings Catalogue Raisonné will present each drawing as factually and visually accurate as possible.  As the definitive publication of Mr. Johns’s drawings oeuvre, our hope is to make that aspect of the artist’s work more accessible—visually and intellectually—to a broader audience.

CRSA: What specific challenges do you face in researching Johns?
JJDCR:  The extensive amount of primary resources available to us concerning the artist and his work has expedited our research. The artist’s renown has also facilitated our project. We’ve dealt with the anticipated challenges in compiling a catalogue raisonné such as artworks with complicated provenances or exhibitions that were a little more difficult to verify because of a lack of records. However, our dedicated and persistent research staff has been able to track down many of these “unavailable” records as well as a number of “lost” drawings, which we weren’t entirely sure would ever be found.

CRSA: Are there plans for additional content beyond artwork/exhibitions/bibliography, such as essays or appendices?
JJDCR: There is discussion of including a drawing-centric chronology. However, as of this date, it is still too early to decide on additional content.

CRSA: Does this project update or expand upon a previously published catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work?
JJDCR: This will be the first catalogue raisonné of the artist’s drawings.

CRSA: Are there plans for supplements or a digital adaptation?
JJDCR: For now we are planning a printed publication only. However, we are considering adapting a digital version, but no decisions have been made about this yet.

For more information, please refer to the website or contact Caroline Gabrielli at

Project Profile: The Daumier-Register

Selfportrait by Honoré Daumier, 19th century, drypoint. Property of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Gift of E. Weyhe 1930.534

Selfportrait by Honoré Daumier, 19th century, drypoint. Property of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Gift of E. Weyhe 1930.534


CRSA recently sat down with Dieter and Lilian Noack to talk about their monumental 14 year effort, the Daumier-Register, an ongoing digital catalogue of the works of Honoré Daumier.  The site launched in 2001, giving it the distinction of being one of the first and longest running digital catalogues of one artist’s work in the field.  Over the course of our interview, we learned many ways their project relates to and departs from the traditional (printed) catalogue raisonné format:

Artist:  Honoré Daumier (1808 – 1879)
Organized by / Staff:  Dieter and Lilian Noack
Publication format: Digital, accessible via and
Scope: 4000 lithographs, 1000 wood engravings, 550 oil paintings and 100 sculptures
Forthcoming content: 1,500 drawings
Database:  Microsoft Access
Prior publications:  The Daumier-Register builds upon a fairly long list of catalogues on the artist, dating back to 1888, including those by:

Arsène Alexandre (Paris, H. Laurens, 1888)
Erich Klossowski (München, R. Piper 1908 and München, R. Piper, 1923)
Eduard Fuchs (München, A. Langen, 1930)
Jean Adhémar’s (New York, Macmillan, 1954)
K.E. Maison (v. 1 London, Thames and Hudson, 1967-68,v.2 London Thames and Hudson New York, NY Graphic Society 1968)
Gabriele Mandel, Luigi Barzini and Pierre Georgel (Milano, Rizzoli 1971, and Paris, Flammarion 1972)

Primary resources: A primary resource for the Daumier-Register is the 1968 CR by K.E. Maison, but they have built on this by contacting museums and archives, and reviewing exhibition and auction catalogues from the 1860 onward with the help of the Watson Library and Frick Library.
Updates: While their database is updated regularly as research develops, the site undergoes a major update once or twice per year.  Minor changes occur on an ongoing basis.
Digital-only benefits:  The site includes three language options (English, French, and German), multimedia content, and more than 700 “themes” related to the artist and his practice so that scholars can identify, for example, all works that include or relate to “lawyers” or “bookdealers,” or combine up to four themes in a search.

Events: Authentication in Art Congress 2014

Of interest to CRSA members, Authentication in Art is holding its 2014 Congress in The Hague May 7-9.  The program is distributed across three days, with the ambition to present a final declaration addressing guidelines and protocols.  Topics covered will include the history of authentication of paintings, connoisseurship and the issuing of opinions, standards for scientific and technological research, among others.   For more information, the complete Program and to Register for the Congress, visit the AiA website:

Project Profile: The Roy Lichtenstein Catalogue Raisonné

"Roy on Ladder, 1991" - Photograph © Laurie Lambrecht,1991

“Roy on Ladder, 1991” – Photograph © Laurie Lambrecht,1991

Artist:  Roy Lichtenstein (1923 – 1997)
Planned Title: Roy Lichtenstein: A Catalogue Raisonné
Scope: The catalogue will illustrate every confirmed work and publish all known paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, commissions and other artwork by Roy Lichtenstein. The artist produced approximately 5,000 works during his lifetime (not counting the full edition runs of prints or multiples).
Years Covered:  The earliest works date from c. 1940 and the latest, 1997, plus a limited number of posthumous sculpture casts and prints.
Print or Digital:  We are planning to publish first an online catalogue version. When persuasively complete, we expect to issue a summary of our research in book form, distributed by a major University Press.
Database:  The Museum System (TMS) until 2011; panOpticon since then.
Schedule:  A first digital version is planned to be online in 2017.
Publisher: To be defined
Organized by:  The catalogue is organized and managed by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. Jack Cowart (Executive Director), Andrea C. Theil (Project Manager).

CRSA:  What are some of the Roy Lichtenstein Catalogue Raisonné’s primary resources?
RLCR:  Since its beginning in 1999, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation has been systematically sorting through the extensive artist studio records. Lichtenstein and his studio staff photographed most of his artworks in the studio, and they accumulated contemporary documentation about his art, commissions, editions, and exhibitions. The material includes correspondence, exhibition files, catalogues, source books, studio and installation photographs as well as films, video, audio tapes and other materials related to the creation and production of Lichtenstein’s art. Of major importance are also the artwork and documentation held by the Estate of Roy Lichtenstein. When it comes to technical questions we are continuously benefiting from the experience of Lichtenstein’s longtime studio assistants.

Provenance research usually starts with looking through the comprehensive Leo Castelli Gallery records at the Archives of American Art which cover the long relationship between the artist and his lifetime gallerist. We also refer to the oral histories conducted over the past decade by Avis Berman on behalf of the Foundation. She interviewed (and still interviews) family members, friends, and studio staff as well as people who were involved directly or indirectly in Lichtenstein’s creative life. Our research is enriched by the detailed memories and deep knowledge of Lichtenstein’s art offered by his widow Dorothy Lichtenstein.

CRSA:  What specific challenges do you face in preparing the RL Catalogue Raisonné?
RLCR:  One of our challenges is the attempt to create a complex online reference tool which covers numerous aspects of Lichtenstein’s work – sometimes it is rather difficult to establish a clear and integrated architecture. But with the help of our panOpticon database we are making great progress.

CRSA: Will the existing RL Catalogue Raisonné of Prints be included in your online CR version?
RLCR:  Yes, it will. Lichtenstein was a prolific print maker, and we are happy to say that the existing catalogue raisonné of his prints (published by Hudson Hills press in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.) has absolved us of having to redo that part of his work. But we will reorganize the records, making minor corrections as we have been able to find new info.

For more information, please refer to the Lichtenstein Foundation’s website, or contact

Ask the Reference Desk: Are there agreed “best practices” for building a catalogue raisonné?


At the CRSA’s recent Business Meeting at CAA, one member mentioned how difficult she was finding it to establish “best practices” for beginning and building a catalogue raisonné.  Other members agreed.  From organizational questions such as, is an editorial or advisory board necessary, to practical questions such as, how much information should be included in the published provenance – it seems there is no one place to find all the answers.

This is, in fact, broadly the case.  And for a good reason:  since every project is different (and every artist presents different challenges), it is hard if not impossible to establish what might work best for everyone.  However, this is not to say that more could not be done to help answer some of the questions we all seem to come across in our work.

CRSA is hoping to take on this unique challenge in 2014.  By finding more opportunities for CR projects (both in progress and complete) to compare procedures and standards, we may better help those just getting started.  Look for news on upcoming events and surveys.

In the meantime, members recommend reviewing published catalogues raisonnés – introductory sections often provide a “guide to entries” that explains an author’s research methodology.  And the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) is generous to provide the proceeding of their 2001 conference “Catalogues Raisonnés and the Authentication Process: Where the Ivory Tower Meets the Marketplace,” a document that many projects have found to be a valuable resource.  But, overall, we find time and time again that the best and fastest resource is our community of CR scholars.  Help us all connect by posting questions to the Listserv, joining CRSA events to network with the community, and keep checking the Forum for Project Profiles and more Reference Desk questions. 

Events: Informational Session on Proposed Legislation to Protect Scholars Issuing Opinions

The Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association is pleased to offer an informational session on proposed legislation to help protect scholarly opinions on the authenticity of works of art, an initiative of The Art Law Committee of the New York BarThe session will be run by Dean Nicyper, Chair of the Art Law Committee, and Judith Brelser, Chair of the Authenticity Subcommittee of the Art Law Committee, who are eager to discuss this legislation with stakeholders in the catalogue raisonné community.  The Committee’s report with a summary of proposed legislation can be found here.

The session is open to CRSA members and others within the community.  It will take place on Thursday, February 20 at 10am, at the Dedalus Foundation Brooklyn.  Please RSVP by Monday, February 17 to

The Dedalus Foundation Brooklyn is located at 254 36th Street, Suite 2-BE, Brooklyn, NY 11232.  The venue is 1 1/2 blocks from the 36th Street (Brooklyn) D/N/R subway station. 36th Street is the second stop in Brooklyn on either the D or the N lines. Please exit at 36th Street and walk west, under the elevated highway. The building is on the south side of the street. Street parking is available.

Events: CAA Annual Conference in Chicago, February 12-15

A reminder to please join CRSA at the College Art Association’s annual conference next week in Chicago for our panel and annual business meeting.  As usual the week will be packed with an incredible number of important events and meetings going on during the conference week.  Below is a short list of sessions which CRSA members may find particularly relevant and informative (click on titles for more details from CAA’s website).  Are there other sessions taking place next week that would be interesting to CRSA members?  Are you presenting or chairing a panel?  Feel free to recommend any additional sessions in the comments area below.

Wednesday, February 12

CRSA Session: Catalogue Raisonné Research and Contemporary Trends in Art Historical Discourse
12:30 PM—2:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, 3rd Floor, Williford C
Maintaining the Past: Collecting and Collectors in Twenty-First-Century Museums, Part I
2:30 PM—5:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, 3rd Floor, Williford A&B

Thursday, February 13

GETTY RESEARCH INSTITUTE presents Archives for Art History: Artists’ Estates And Archives
12:30 PM—2:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, 8th Floor, Lake Michigan
CRSA Business Meeting
5:30 PM—7:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, Lobby Level, Continental A

Friday, February 14

JOAN MITCHELL FOUNDATION presents Creating a Living Legacy (CALL): Building Awareness on the Value of Artists’ Legacies
7:30 AM—9:00 AM
Hilton Chicago, 2nd Floor, Boulevard A&B
Digital Publishing in Art History: the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative
9:30 AM—12:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, Lobby Level, Continental C
ITHAKA S+R presents Research Support Services and the Changing Research Habits of Art Historians
12:30 PM—2:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, 2nd Floor, Boulevard C

Saturday, February 15

Maintaining the Past: Collecting and Collectors in Twenty-First-Century Museums, Part II
9:30 AM—12:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, 4th Floor, Conference Room 4D
COMMITTEE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY presents Fair Use: How, Why Where and For Whom?
12:30 PM—2:00 PM
Hilton Chicago, 2nd Floor, International North