Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: Typ 970.78.6595

Alfonso Ossorio wood engravings, watercolors, and photographs of sculptures


Wood engravings, watercolors, and photographs of sculptures by American artist, Alfonso Ossorio.


  • Creation: 1932-1978

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


.25 linear feet (1 box)

Collection consists of wood engravings and proofs, primarily of religious themes, including: wood-engraved Christmas cards; two designs for Christmas cards in graphite and watercolor; color photographs of his abstract outdoor sculptures; and five calligraphic incipits of the Gospels. Most of the material belongs to the 1933-1935 period when Ossorio was attending Harvard. Includes 35 wood engravings, 5 watercolors, and 7 photographs.

Biographical / Historical

Alfonso Ossorio (1916-1990) was an American artist who was born in the Philippines, attended boarding schools in England, and came to the United States to study at Portsmouth Priory School, Rhode Island, and then at Harvard University. Ossorio is best known as for his illustrations and abstract sculpture.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Photographs of sculptures
  2. II. Wood engravings
  3. ___A. Wood engravings that appeared in Poems and wood engravings
  4. ___B. Wood engravings that appeared in The Portsmouth raven : Easter number, 1934
  5. ___C. Miscellaneous wood engravings
  6. III. Watercolors

Physical Location

F (horz)


Collection presented to Philip Hofer by the artist, Alfonso Ossorio, between 1933-1980.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequest of Philip Hofer; received: 1984.

Separated Materials

Correspondence between Hofer and Ossorio dated 1934-1935 was removed to the curatorial files.

Processing Information

Processed by: Irina Tarsis

Ossorio, Alfonso, 1916-1990. Alfonso Ossorio wood engravings, watercolors, and photographs of sculptures, 1932-1978: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440