Sketchbooks and sketches are in enormous quantity at the Archives of
American Art. Many are considered important documents because they are
evidence of the artists' random or concentrated exercises in graphic
representation. To the art historian, sketches and drawings are a
valuable record of working methods or, in some cases, of the conceptual
development of a particular painting or sculpture. They range from mere
doodles to signed and dated finished drawings.
Visual Thinking: A Guide to Sketches and Sketchbooks is a summary of
approximately 2,800 volumes of sketchbooks and 7,500 loose sketches by
over 450 artists in the Archives of American Art. Within the Guide are
sketches of almost every medium, depicting a wide range of dates and
subjects, from 19th century landscapes of Egypt during the travels of
painter Henry Bacon, costume designs from the 1940's for the Sadler's
Wells Ballet by printmaker Rockwell Kent, and sketches of pots by
ceramist Laura Andreson done ca. 1961.
A companion Curator's Choice website highlighting seventeen fully
digitized sketchbooks selected by the Archives' Manuscript Curator Liza
Kirwin, adds depth to the Guide by providing information on the artists
and their working methods.
Digitization of the sketches and sketchbooks is ongoing, made possible
by a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art.
I am sure this resource has been shared before - just a refresher -