H-E-B Study Room


Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Open by appointment and free.

Requests for room access are popular and we advise at least 1 weeks’ notice to secure your booking. Visits are limited to 20 people at a time.

Contact Holly Borham, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, on (512) 471-9208, or by email,

Works from the collection may be viewed by appointment in the H-E-B Study Room. Email Holly Borham, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, at with the date and time you would like to visit.

After confirming a date for your visit, you can create a checklist from our website at Our Prints and Drawings team can also assist with selecting works of art and designing a study room session for your course.

During your visit to the Print Study Room you will be viewing unframed works of art. While this provides a unique study opportunity, we ask that you observe the following rules:

Pencils and electronic devices may be used in taking notes and sketching.
Coats, bags, packs, and umbrellas must be left in lockers across from the visitor services desk at the main entrance.
Photography without a flash and for study purposes only is permitted. Tripods, video cameras, and other large photographic equipment are not allowed. Requests for photography for purposes other than research can be made through Shelby Lakins, by calling, 512-471-8918, or by email,

Prints and drawings comprise 90% of the Blanton’s collection of almost 18,000 works, making it the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind in Texas and the Southwest. Benefactors have given some or all of their art collections and have supported important art acquisitions with works dating from the fourteenth century to the present. The department’s highlights include the Barbara Duncan Collection of Latin American drawings, the Suida-Manning Collection of Old Master drawings, and the Leo Steinberg Collection of prints. The department also showcases American prints from the first half of the twentieth century given to the Blanton by Julia (B.F.A. 1970) and Stephen Wilkinson (J.D. 1974) and their family’s Still Water Foundation.

Click here to search the Prints and Drawings Collection.


Relief prints are often characterized by bold contrasts of dark and light. In this technique the artist first sketches a composition on a hard, flat surface such as a wood or linoleum block; then, the parts of the image that are not to receive ink (the negative space) are carved away from the surface, leaving the composition visible on the raised surface of the block. Ink can be applied to these raised printing areas by dabbing or with a roller. The inked surface of the block is then transferred to paper with a mechanical press or by laying a sheet of paper on the block and rubbing the paper. Since the areas of the block that were cut away did not receive ink, they appear white in the printed image. The inked areas are impressed into the surface of the paper from the force of the press and so appear slightly indented on the reverse side of the paper. The primary relief techniques are woodcutwood engravingrubber stamp, and linocut.


The term intaglio comes from the Italian word intagliare, meaning “to incise.” In this technique, acid or a pointed tool is used to incise into a metal plate, usually made of copper, but sometimes of steel, iron, or zinc. After the image has been drawn, the plate is covered with ink, and then wiped so that only the incised areas contain ink. The plate is then laid on a press, with dampened paper placed over it.  Lambs-wool felt blankets are then placed over the paper, protecting it and the plate while allowing them to go through sufficient pressure to force the paper into the incised lines in the plate.  This pressure forces the paper into the incisions where it picks up the ink, resulting in the raised character of the lines on the impression. Because often the sheet of paper is larger than the plate, an indentation of the plate edges, or platemark, appears around the edges of the image area. The different types of intaglio prints are distinguished by the technique used: etchingaquatint, and photogravure are made using acid to corrode the metal plate, while engravingdrypoint, and mezzotint are made using a sharp tool to incise, or scratch, the surface of the plate. Often several different intaglio techniques are used in the same print to achieve variations in contrast and tone.


In planographic printing, the printed and non-printed areas on the surface of the print exist in the same plane on the matrix. Lithography is a type of planography that relies on the antipathy between grease and water.  The semi-absorbent surface of the stone or plate is treated so that parts of it are receptive to grease while others are receptive to water.  In this method of printing the ink is neither pressed down into the stone nor raised above its surface, but lies exclusively on the plane of the stone’s surface. Planographic techniques include:  lithographyzincography, and photolithography.  Other planographic methods include serigraphy (screen printing)monotype, counterproof, collotype, and digital prints.

  • How do I make an appointment for my class to visit the H-E-B Study Room?
    To make an appointment, please email Please let us know what date and time you would like to visit, and how many people will be in your group.
  • How many students may I bring for a class?
    While our facility is spacious, we limit class size to twenty students. If you have more than twenty students, we can make arrangements to split the class into groups.
  • How can I find works in your collection for my class visit?
    Please explore our collection online at collection.blantonmuseum.organd prepare a list of up to twenty works on paper you wish to view.
  • I am not able to find what I’m looking for in the database. Who should I contact?
    Our staff is always available to assist you in finding works appropriate for your visit. Please contact the team on
  • I’m an art teacher, and I would like my students to sketch during our visit; is this allowed?
    Yes. Sketching is allowed in the H-E-B Study Room. Students may use pencil and paper; no ink pens, markers, or paints are allowed in the Center.
  • Can I bring my water bottle and backpack?
    No.  Please leave them in one of our lockers.
  • Do I have to pay?
    This is a free service to our communities.
  • Is there seating available in the H-E-B Study Room?
    Yes, the study room is furnished with tables and chairs.

Gascoigne, Bamber. How to Identify Prints: A complete guide to manual and mechanical processes from woodcut to inkjet. New York: Thames & Hudson Inc., 2004.

Collecting Prints Basics. International Fine Print Dealers Association, 2009-2012. 12 February 2014.

Additional Resources:

Allen Memorial Art Museum Print Study Room

Cunningham Center at Smith College Museum of Art