The Department of Prints and Drawings at Veste Coburg comprises more than 220,000 sheets of drawings and prints covering all countries, schools and graphic art techniques from the fifteenth to the twenty-first century.
More than 9,000 artists are represented with works here. The items were collected by members of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, especially the connoisseur Duke Franz Friedrich Anton of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (1750-1806), an enthusiastic collector of graphic art works who laid the foundations for the collection of prints and drawings we know today. Consequently, there is an especially rich and dense collection of items up to around 1800.
Selected objects from the collection are shown to the general public in regular special exhibitions which, whenever possible, are accompanied by a publication.
The collection of prints and drawings has been combined with the collection of autographs founded by the grandson of Duke Franz Friedrich Anton, the later Duke Ernst II (1818-1893), and his younger brother Albert (1819-1861). As the prince consort of Queen Victoria of England (1819-1901), Albert very dedicatedly helped build up the collection from England with major purchases and gifts.