Oppenheimer Editions

Established in 1999, our publishing company Oppenheimer Editions was developed in order to produce modern facsimiles of historic works of art. Marrying cutting-edge digital printing technologies with canonical works of art, Oppenheimer Editions has partnered with prestigious museums to make their holdings accessible to the public as fine art prints. Works from the New-York Historical Society’s unrivaled collections of John James Audubon’s watercolors and the Hudson River School paintings are examples of art that otherwise would be unobtainable.

Among the institutional collections we have partnered with are the American Museum of Natural History, the Field Museum, and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Our Oppenheimer Editions prints are not mere reproductions. Rather, they are limited-edition fine art prints made with the finest quality archival pigments on rag watercolor paper and executed to exacting standards.

The Fine Art of Proofing

Joel Oppenheimer inspects a modern print

A 1999 article published in Digital Output magazine captures the budding stages of Oppenheimer Editions before production was moved in-house

In publishing our Oppenheimer Editions prints, every step of the production process is critical to achieving absolute fidelity to the original artworks. The monumental undertaking of creating a high-quality, exacting facsimile begins with creating ultra-high-resolution scans from the original artwork. Next, multiple proofing sessions are executed by our experts on location and in close alliance with collection curators to ensure that a complete likeness between the original and facsimile is achieved. Lastly, the limited-edition artworks are printed with archival pigments on 100% rag watercolor paper to directly capture the artist’s hand and fundamental vision. So exact is our printing process that every nuance of the original artwork is conveyed. Every print is embossed with Oppenheimer Editions’ stamp, the official stamp of the collaborating institution, and numbered as part of the limited edition.

Our museum-authorized Oppenheimer Editions prints are collected by private clients and public institutions alike. Museums and libraries, including the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, Nevada Museum of Art, and New-York Historical Society have acquired our publications for their collections for public viewing and scholarly study.

Audubon's Watercolors Pl. 216, Wood Ibis

Audubon’s Watercolors Pl. 216, Wood Ibis

The New-York Historical Society Edition

Audubon's Watercolors Pl. 30A, Great Egret

Audubon’s Watercolors Pl. 30A, Great Egret

The New-York Historical Society Edition

Audubon's Watercolors Pl. 226, Hooping Crane

Audubon’s Watercolors Pl. 226, Hooping Crane

The New-York Historical Society Edition

Notable Partnerships

The New-York Historical Society:

One of our most notable collaborations includes Audubon’s Watercolors: The Complete Avian Collection of the New-York Historical Society. In this partnership with the New-York Historical Society, Oppenheimer Editions published all 434 original watercolors preparatory for Audubon’s monumental folio, The Birds of America. This first-ever actual-size printing of Audubon’s watercolors includes 40 alternate images that have never before been published as fine art prints. 

The entire collection of Audubon’s original watercolors for The Birds of America is housed in the New-York Historical Society, which acquired them directly from Audubon’s wife Lucy in 1836. As singular mixed media paintings, Audubon’s original watercolors are not available for purchase except in their facsimile state. In partnering with the New-York Historical Society to produce this edition, Oppenheimer Editions has made a valuable piece of American history available to the public for purchase.  

The Field Museum of Natural History:

As one of our first partnerships, Oppenheimer Editions undertook the mission to faithfully replicate an extensive number of key pieces from The Field Museum’s superb collection. As a repository for natural history art and artifacts, The Field Museum houses a superb collection of rare folios from the golden age of natural history art. Our Oppenheimer Field Museum Editions include works by John James Audubon, Priscilla Susan Bury, Jacques Barraband, Mark Catesby, Edward Sheriff Curtis, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Edward Lear, and more.

OE Production - 1

Oppenheimer Editions experts capture Hudson River School painter Albert Bierstadt’s monumental Donner Lake from the Summit

The Hudson River School Painters, The New-York Historical Society Edition

Merian Pl. 1, Pineapple Plant

Merian Pl. 1, Pineapple Plant

Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium, The Oppenheimer Kew Gardens Edition

The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew:

Home to one of the world’s greatest botanical libraries, the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew preserves the history of the emergence of botany as a scientific and artistic discipline through its momentous collection. The library, usually accessible only to scholars by appointment or invitation, opened its doors to Oppenheimer Editions for the purpose of recreating masterpieces from the collection in true facsimile form. Highlights from our fruitful collaboration with Kew include works by Maria Sibylla Merian, Dr. Robert Thornton, Clara Maria Pope, and Margaret Mee. 

The American Museum of Natural History:

The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions devoted to the study of human cultures, the natural world, and the universe. Preserved within their collection are a significant number of Audubon’s original paintings of mammals. We worked in concert with the museum to make fifteen of these original watercolors available, along with a portrait of John James Audubon painted by his son John Woodhouse Audubon. This unique edition offers, for the first time, actual-size limited edition fine art prints of a selection of Audubon’s original watercolors for The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.

Audubon's Watercolors Pl. 1, Common American Wildcat

Audubon’s Watercolors Pl. 1, Common American Wildcat

Audubon’s Quadrupeds: The Watercolors, American Museum of Natural History Edition