John Singleton Copley (1738–1815) is known for his painted portraits of colonial Americans (oils, pastels, and miniatures) and his English history pictures, but the relationship between Copley and prints is relatively obscure. Yet he was involved with prints throughout his career and beyond, from his earliest exposure to art in the Boston studio of his stepfather to the sale four years after his death of his collection of around 1,125 prints by and after old master and contemporary artists, and many engravings after his own paintings. 


Figure 1.
Graphic Encounters: John Singleton Copley and the World of Prints, Conversation between Jules Prown and Mark Hallett.

Film by Jonathan Law.

About the authors

  • Jules Prown

    Jules David Prown, a graduate of Lafayette College and of the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture (University of Delaware), received his doctorate from Harvard University. He has been a member of the faculty of the Department of the History of Art at Yale University since 1961 and is currently the Paul Mellon Professor Emeritus of the History of Art. During this period he has also been Curator of American Art at the Yale University Art Gallery and the founding Director of the Yale Center for British Art. He has received numerous professional and other honours including the Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award from the College Art Association of America (1995), Yale’s William Clyde DeVane Award for teaching and scholarship, and Distinguished Scholar at the 2010 College Art Association Annual Conference.

  • Mark Hallett

    Director of Studies at the Paul Mellon Centre


Jules Prown, Mark Hallett
04 April 2016
Audio-Visual Conversation
Review status
Not Peer Reviewed
CC BY-NC International 4.0
PDF format
Article DOI
Cite as
Jules Prown, Mark Hallett, "John Singleton Copley and the World of Prints", British Art Studies, Issue 2,