A Passion for Prints: The John Bonebrake Donation features a selection of nearly 60 prints from the collection of John Corwin Bonebrake (1918-2011). John became a devoted print collector after joining the Print Club of Cleveland in 1961. An architect, John began by choosing images of cathedrals, castles, and other structures, but soon broadened his outlook to include a wide range of material. His outstanding collection of about 1,000 19th- and 20th-century graphics includes figural subjects as well as landscapes and works of historical interest executed in a range of printmaking techniques. Knowing his collection would eventually be donated to the museum, John sometimes made acquisitions to enhance strengths and fill gaps in the CMA’s print collection.
Prominent in the exhibition is the first comprehensive series of color lithographs documenting Egypt by Louis Haghe (made after watercolors by David Roberts), Henri Rivière’s The Thirty-six Views of the Eiffel Tower, a tribute to Hokusai’s famous series of Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, and William Nicholson’s London Types, which celebrate the colorful residents of late 19th-century London. Notable exhibition highlights include singular works by John Paul Miller, Fernand Léger, and Joan Miró.
John’s collection—his legacy—reflects his personality and interests while setting an example for future generations of print enthusiasts. He advised them to “buy what you like, but most important of all, have fun.”