Accession Number


Jasper Johns

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
lithograph on paper

31 1/8 in x 22 13/16 in (79.06 cm x 57.94 cm);23 5/8 in x 17 11/16 in (60.01 cm x 44.93 cm);34 in x 26 in (86.36 cm x 66.04 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. & Mrs. J. Robert Willson

Subject matter
Souvenir, 1970, is a two-dimensional lithograph referencing a painting Johns did in 1964 by the same title made of encaustic on canvas with real, three-dimensional objects. The painting includes a flashlight that would shine on a bicycle side mirror that would reflect light onto a photograph of Johns from his time in Japan—two months in 1964. The stretcher here references the back of the canvas of the 1964 Souvenir. As in the 1964 piece, the artist's face appears in the lower left corner, surrounded by the words red, yellow, blue.

The artist revisited the piece in 1972, creating another lithograph titled Souvenir I (see MoMA, 236.1972). Souvenir I looks more like Souvenir of 1964, but where the flashlight and mirror should be, there is white space and the words flashlight and mirror. 

Jasper Johns is an American artist who was an innovative printer and painter whose work was antithetical to expressionistic gestural abstraction. He often incorporated familiar objects or symbols into his pieces like flags and numbers, but he was meticulous about the process behind the creation.

Physical Description
This print consists of a large, grey, sketchy rectangle under a slightly smaller black, sketchy rectangle, in the lower left corner of which is an image of the back of a stretcher. At the bottom left corner, over the stretcher, is a circle with a picture of Johns in the center and the words "Red Yellow Blue," around the perimeter. The number 2 and the word "souvenir" appear in the bottom half of the stretcher. At the right, between the stretcher and the edge of the print, is an image of dark blue flashlight (turned off), pointing at an image of a small round mirror at the top right corner of the print.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
American (North American)
Text-based Art
artists (visual artists)
modern and contemporary art
stretchers (framing and mounting equipment)

1 Related Resource

Dada and Neo-Dada
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)

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