National Gallery of Art

cover of the catalogue for the exhibition The Unfinished Print with a print of a man with a long white beard and wearing a black hat, which he touches with his left hand

The Unfinished Print

June 2, 2004 to August 15, 2004

When is a work of art complete? And when do further additions detract from the desired result? These questions lie at the heart of aesthetic theory and have preoccupied artists, critics, and collectors for centuries. The problem of "finish" is particularly relevant in the graphic arts, in which images are developed in stages and often distributed at various points in their making.