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Werner K. Sensbach Graphic Art Collection

Identifier: MSS -15884

Scope and Contents

The collection includes both colored and black-and-white prints of etchings, woodcuts, and linocuts by Werner K. Sensbach, depicting various University of Virginia buildings and a couple of landscapes. Also includes twelve preliminary sketches done by Sensbach of scenes from the University of Virginia and one for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Scope and Contents

The addition to the Werner K. Sensbach papers (MSS 15884) contains original printing blocks, sketches, prints, and exhibition information. Werner Sensbach (1923-2015) was an artist, architect, urban designer, and campus planner. He served as the Virginia Campus Architect and was a professor in the Urban Planning School from 1965 to1991. After his retirement, he became a citizen scholar at the UVA Studio Art Department where he created his works.

The bulk of the addition to the collection are fifty-one original copper plates, zinc plates, linoleum, and woodblocks, primarily of buildings and scenes at the University of Virginia. Also included are preliminary sketches and designs, three copies of his series of prints titled "University of Virginia: Four Views," and exhibition information from shows held between 2000 to 2018.


  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1976, 1992-2018


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The gift agreement for the addition clearly states that the woodblocks are NEVER to be used again. The copperplates are reusable. However, Angelika S. Powell has held on to the "artistic reproduction of these donated originals." The United States rights were copyrighted by Powell on March 23, 2015.

Biographical / Historical

Werner K. Sensbach (1923-2015), an architect and campus planner at the University of Virginia and several branches, 1965-1991, was born in Mannheim, Germany, to Gustav and Margarethe Sensbach. Werner was educated at the universities of Heidelberg and Karlsruhe, Germany and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He worked in architectural offices in Germany, Switzerland and New York State. During World War II, Werner was severly wounded in 1944 at the Eastern Front in the Ukraine. In 1954, he immigrated to the United States and became a city planner in Columbia, South Carolina, and Roanoake, Virginia. In 1953, he was married to Gladys Frederiksen (died 2014) and they had two sons. He then married Angelika S. Powell.

After retirement, his interest turned to art, including watercolor field sketches and al fresco oil paintings of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Piedmont, and etchings, lithographs, and woodcut prints of the University of Virginia buildings.


2.2 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was purchased by the University of Virginia Special Collections Library on October 27, 2014-2015.

The addition to the collection was given to the University of Virginia Special Collections Library on November 1, 2020 by Angelika S. Powell, the wife of Werner S. Sensbach.

Werner K. Sensbach Graphic Art Collection
Sharon Defibaugh
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Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States