“Fresh, human, and personal”— this is how Allan Edmunds, founder of the Brandywine Workshop and Archives, has described the prints produced at the Philadelphia-based arts organization. A non-profit celebrating diversity, experimentation, and accessibility since 1972, Brandywine has become an internationally recognized printmaking center whose residencies have fostered the creative talents of notable artists, such as Sam Gilliam, Romare Bearden, and Faith Ringgold, among many others.
Contemporary Spotlight: New Acquisitions from the Brandywine Workshop is an opportunity to celebrate Telfair Museums’ recently acquired lithographs by Black artmakers, a decisive moment in the institution’s long history. This acquisition moves the museum forward in its long-term goal of diversifying the collection and highlighting the works of underrepresented artists and narratives.
Other than two works by noted Georgia-born painter Benny Andrews, these compelling works on paper were all created by significant female artists—Faith Ringgold, Deborah Willis, Emma Amos, Selma Burke, Sonya Clark, Gwendolyn Knight, Samella Lewis, Janet Taylor Pickett, Howardena Pindell, Alison Saar, Betye Saar, and Lorna Williams. Created in the late 20th century and 21st century, these works cover a wide range of timely themes, from the legacies of slavery and racism in the United States, spirituality, the importance of education, womanhood, and nature, among others, effectively illustrating the visual, social, and political scopes of the powerfully versatile medium of printmaking.
This exhibition is organized by Telfair Museums and curated by Erin Dunn, curator of modern and contemporary art and Anne-Solène Bayan, assistant curator.