This spring, the Harvard Art Museums celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Brandywine Workshop and Archives, a Philadelphia-based organization that traditionally introduces printmaking to practicing artists and members of the surrounding community, in an exhibition that brings together innovative works by 30 artists. Impressions from the Brandywine Workshop and Archive: Creative Communitiespresented from March 4 to July 31, 2022, marks the first presentation of a set of works acquired by the museums in 2018 and honors the creative spirit of the workshop.
Founded in 1972 by artist Allan Edmunds, the Brandywine Workshop and Archives is a non-profit cultural institution celebrated for its commitment to the local community and its educational programming. For five decades, the studio has offered arts programs in Philadelphia neighborhoods and sponsored printmaking residencies for both unknown and known artists. At Brandywine, collaboration and the exchange of ideas fuel a culture of experimentation, in which master printers and artists continually challenge the conventions of the creative process and push the technical limits of printmaking to produce compelling new works.
The Harvard Art Museums acquired more than 80 works by 30 artists from the Brandywine Workshop in 2018, as part of the workshop’s initiative to place “satellite collections” in university art museums across the United States. United. The acquisition itself was a cooperative effort between curators and other museum colleagues as well as students and faculty at Harvard University, who selected works that showcase collaboration and innovation. , values at the heart of Brandywine’s pioneering approach. The collection spans the studio’s history, from the early 1970s to the present day, and includes works by artists who had not yet found representation on the market or in museum collections when they first appeared. arrived at Brandywine, a key component of the organization, which seeks to create opportunities for these artists. The Harvard collection is also notable for the decision to include working proofs of some of the artists for future study by students and scholars.
“Brandywine’s works in Harvard’s Satellite Collection have introduced new worldviews and historical perspectives to our collection of contemporary prints,” said Elizabeth M. Rudy, curator of the Museums’ Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Prints and member of the exhibition curatorial team. “This direct engagement with pressing social, political and cultural issues will be of interest to students and faculty at the university, as well as the public.”
Impressions from the Brandywine Workshop and Archive: Creative Communities is the first major public presentation of the museums’ Brandywine collection, showcasing the works of 30 artists:
Pedro Abascal, Danny Alvarez, John Biggers, Andrea Chung, Louis Delsarte, Allan Edmunds, Rodney Ewing, Sam Gilliam, Simon Gouverneur, Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds, Sedrick Huckaby, Hughie Lee-Smith, Ibrahim Miranda, Tanya Murphy, Kenneth Noland, Odili Donald Odita, Janet Taylor Pickett, Howardena Pindell, Robert Pruitt, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Eduardo Roca Salazar, Juan Sanchez, Clarissa Sligh, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, Hank Willis Thomas, Larry Walker, Stanley Whitney, Deborah Willis, and Murray Zimiles
The exhibit and its associated programming were developed by a creative community on the Harvard campus that sought to emulate the generative, collaborative, and diverse environment fostered by the workshop. Colleagues from two conservation divisions worked together on the plan: Hannah ChewSHARP research fellow summer 2021 and student assistant 2021-2022; Jessica FickenCunningham assistant curator for the collection; Sarah Kianovski, curator of the collection; and Joelle Te Paske, Curatorial Graduate Student Intern, all from the Modern and Contemporary Art Division; and Elizabeth M. Rudy, Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints; and Natalia Angeles VieyraMaher Curatorial Fellow of American Art, in both the European and American Art Division.
This core team then invited a variety of perspectives from across campus and beyond to shape the interpretive material and exhibition programming. Each work displayed in the gallery is accompanied by a written response from a member of museum staff, a researcher in related fields, a student or a local artist – and their approaches are as varied as the described works. The exhibition also features a digital companion with students’ creative responses to the works in the exhibition. It will be accessible via QR code in the galleries and on hvrd.art/brandywineresponses.
“It’s so gratifying to see our goals for the interpretive strategy come to life,” said Sarah Kianovsky, of the exhibit’s curatorial team. “We worked together to identify partners who would be interested in the exhibition, the prints and their subject matter for future teaching and research, going even further by inviting them to bring their views directly to the walls of the gallery and in the exhibition material.. Their responses to the works were even richer and more varied than we could have hoped.
The exhibition will feature a wide range of colorful prints, ranging from individual prints to large multi-part installations. A video in the gallery will show archival images provided by the Brandywine workshop as well as short interviews with numerous artists. Find out more about the exhibition and the works on display at hvrd.art/brandywine.
Notable works include:
- Offset lithograph by Odili Donald Odita of Nigerian descent To cut (2016) – composed of bursts of bright color that emanate from a diagonal axis – is directly linked to the large exterior fresco Our housewhich the artist painted on the facade of the Brandywine Workshop building in 2015.
- Me like me (unframed) (2011), a powerful four-part print by Botswana artist Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum that features two life-size figures—representations of Sunstrum’s alter ego, Asme—that challenge the appropriation and misrepresentation of bodies black women.
- Say many magpies, Say Black Wolf, Say Hachivi (1989), a large two-part serigraph by Native American artist and activist Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds that uses bold text to convey the voice of European Americans who displaced Indigenous peoples by taking their names, images , products and land .
- Wissahickon (1975), an intricate abstract serigraph by Sam Gilliam, the first artist to join the studio’s series of artists in residence.
- An installation of the 101 intimate portraits that make up Sedrick Huckaby’s series The 99% – Highland Hills (2012-13), which represents individuals from the artist’s community in Fort Worth, TX. The artist will collaborate with Harvard students on the installation.
- A selection of lithographs from the portfolio of Murray Zimiles Holocaust (1987), showing the horrors of the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jewish people and other minority groups during World War II.
To be seen in the museum special exhibitions gallery on level 3, Impressions from the Brandywine Workshop and Archive: Creative Communities will take place at the same time as another special exhibition, White Shadows: Anneliese Hager and photography without a camerathe first to take an interest in the role of women makers in the history of the photogram.
Allan Edmunds, founder of the Brandywine Workshop and Archives, will join curators Elizabeth Rudy and Sarah Kianovsky for an Art Talk Live, presented via Zoom on Tuesday, March 8, from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. EST.
Support Impressions from the Brandywine Workshop and Archive: Creative Communities is provided by the Alexander S., Robert L., and Bruce A. Beal Exhibition Fund, the Fund for the Contemporary Art Department, and the Robert M. Light Print Department Fund. Related programming is supported by the Mr. Victor Leventritt Lecture Series Endowment Fund. The Harvard Art Museums Modern and Contemporary Art programs are made possible in part through the generous support of the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.
Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy Street
About Harvard Art Museums
Harvard’s art museums, among the world’s leading art institutions, include three museums (the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler museums) and four research centers (the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, the Archives of the Harvard Art Museums and the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis). The Fogg Museum includes Western art from the Middle Ages to the present day; the Busch-Reisinger Museum, unique among North American museums, is devoted to the study of all modes and periods of Central and Northern European art, with an emphasis on German-speaking countries; and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum focuses on Asian, Ancient, Islamic, and later Indian art. Together, the collections include approximately 250,000 objects in all media. The Harvard Art Museums are distinguished by the breadth and depth of their collections, their groundbreaking exhibits, and the original research of their staff. An integral part of Harvard University and the wider community, the museums and research centers serve as resources for students, scholars, and the public. For more than a century, they have been the premier training ground for museum professionals in the nation and are renowned for their instrumental role in the development of the discipline of art history in the United States. The recent renovation and expansion of the Harvard Art Museums builds on the heritage of the three museums and brings together their remarkable collections under one roof for the first time. Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s responsive design preserved the historic 1927 Fogg Museum facility, while transforming the space to meet 21st century needs. Following a six-year construction project, the museums now have 40% more gallery space, an expanded art study center, conservation laboratories and classrooms, as well as a striking new glass roof that connects the historic and contemporary architecture of the facility. The new Harvard Art Museums building is more functional, accessible, spacious and above all more transparent. The three constituent museums retain their distinct identities in this new facility, but their proximity provides exciting opportunities to experience works of art in a larger context. harvardartmuseums.org