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Kozo By Carol Jessen. Color Woodblock print, 1994
Prints by Women Artists
Curated by William J. Dane
Second Floor Gallery
March 9 - April 29, 2000

The Special Collections of The Newark Public Library have selected and installed an exhibition of nearly fifty original works of graphic art by women artists in The Library’s 2nd floor gallery from now through April 29th, 2000. This visual celebration is organized to salute the outstanding work of printmaking women artists during the month of March which has been officially designated as National Women’s History Month for the Year 2000.

Moonlight Circle Dance by Gene Kloss. Aquatint.

The purpose of the project is to display the extraordinary development and commitment to printmaking demonstrated by women artists over the past century and more. The prints include a wide variety of techniques, both traditional and newly discovered combinations. In addition to the established media such as lithography, etching, engraving, mezzotints, serigraphs and linoleum cuts, women artists of recent times have experimented with mixed media, photo-engraving processes, collagraphs, chine colle, and collage constructions while creating works of art on paper.

Country Landscape by Ruth Chaney. Early silkscreen print.
There is international representation in the exhibit with prints from England by Claire Leighton, from France by Marie Laurencin, Orovida Camille Pissarro, and Louise Bourgeois, and by Kathe Kollwitz from Germany. The largest representation of women artists is from America such as Mary Nimmo Moran from the 19th century; other more contemporary artists are Clare Romano, Louisa Chase, Linda Plotkin and Elizabeth Murray with the first half of the twentieth century represented by Peggy Bacon, Betty Parsons, Mabel Dwight, Isabel Bishop, and Minna Citron.

 

The Month of January for a 1996 calendar by Consuelo Gotay. Linoleum cut print.
The Month of September for a 1996 calendar by Consuelo Gotay. Linoleum cut print.
The show includes a strong representation by well known New Jersey artists such as Judith Brodsky, Lucille Hobbie, Helen Frank, Wanda Gag and Victoria Ebbels Hutson. From Japan are works by Toko Shinoda who was born in Manchuria and now lives and works in Japan, along with two American women, Lilian Miller and Carol Jessen who have studied printmaking for a number of years with Japanese master artists and print specialists. Also shown is a recently acquired calendar with six linoleum cuts by Consuelo Gotay from Puerto Rico.
The subject matter depicted in the prints is highly diverse. It includes abstract and non-objective works both in color and in black and white, plus well known buildings and sites, portraits, landscapes, images of the human condition shared by all people plus animal and floral studies. A stunning poster entitled “An extraordinary Century for Women – Now, Imagine the Future” was acquired from the center for The National Women’s History Project in Windsor, California. This striking poster by Margaret Lofton Whiting is included in the Library’s collection as it lists a backdrop of the names of many movers and shakers in the women’s movement over the past one hundred years.
Hong Kong Junk by Lilian May Miller. Wood engraving in the Japanese manner, 1928.

The many prints were carefully selected from the Library’s Fine Print Collection. Curator William J. Dane commented that “The planning for this exhibition was a great pleasure with the ultimate goal of celebrating such a positive development which benefits so many people both in the art world and in everyday life.” He also noted that there were many graphic works by other artists in The Library’s collection of over 20,000 works on paper to merit another show on the same topic of works by women printmakers.

To The Milking by Clare Leighton. Wood engraving.
The exhibition runs through April 2000 and is open to all during Library hours without any entrance fees. For additional information or details, please call 973-733-7745 at The Newark Public Library in the city’s downtown cultureplex.
Laundry Day, Cambridge, New York by Altoon Sultan. Hand colored drypoint etching, 1988.

 

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