"Watercolor is not elusive. It is the architecture beneath the sea that cries to be let out, to be discovered. And when it rings right, it sounds very much like a bell tolling deeply in the sea from some strange sunken chapel."

Letter from the artist, May 13, 1983 Archives of American Art, Paul Jenkins Papers

Paul Jenkins has maintained a deep commitment to watercolor from his earliest beginnings, and his watercolors are found in museum collections throughout the United States, Europe and Japan.

In 1956, he participated in the Museum of Modern Art exhibition in New York, Recent Drawings USA. In 1957, his work was included in the seminal exhibition "41 American Watercolorists of Today, organized by the International Program of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and chosen by Dorothy Miller, curator of the collection, with a catalogue and preface by Frank O'Hara. Works in watercolor from 1958 were acquired by Joseph Hirshhorn and are presently in the collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. In 1989, the Musées de Nice exhibited watercolors in conjunction with the artist's dance-drama performed at the Paris Opera [Shaman to the Prism Seen, 1988], and these works form an integral part of the exhibition, Water and Color. Exhibitions include—

Abstract Watercolors by Fourteen Americans, traveling exhibition shown in London, Nice and other cities in Europe by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

20th Biennial Watercolor Exhibition, The Brooklyn Museum of Art.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. initiated a 2-year solo traveling exhibition of watercolors.

Homer, Sargent and the American Watercolor Tradition, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn.

Water and Color, traveling exhibition [in France] of watercolors from the most recent decade, organized by PACA. 2000—The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown.

Viaggio in Italia, Basilica Palladiana, Vicenza.

Water and Color, The Arkansas Arts Center.

The Color of Light. Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California. Fifty watercolors including major scale and works originally created for the Paris Opera, together with selected paintings on canvas.