Elizabeth "Betty" Woodman
Betty Woodman, 1973
May 14, 1930
|Died||January 2, 2018(aged 87)|
|Education||School for American Craftsmen (Alfred University)|
|Alma mater||Alfred University|
|Home town||Norwalk, Connecticut|
Elizabeth "Betty" Woodman (née Abrahams; May 14, 1930 – January 2, 2018) was an American ceramic artist.
Early life and education
Betty Woodman was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, to Minnie and Henry Abrahams. Her parents were progressive socialists and her mother promoted a feminist viewpoint. Betty started pottery classes at age 16 and immediately took to clay. She attended the School for American Craftsmen at Alfred University in New York from 1948 until 1950.
Woodman began her career in the 1950s as a production potter. Her career moved from functional pottery to fresh and exuberant art culminating in a retrospective show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2006, the first such retrospective for a living, female ceramicist, and a solo show at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 2016 with the title Theatre of the Domestic. She was a professor of art at the University of Colorado Boulder from 1978-1998. She received an honorary doctorate from CU in 2007. Woodman convinced city of Boulder officials in the 1950s to fund the Pottery Lab, making it one of the first recreational pottery programs in the U.S. Her vision was to have students make pottery for fun but also develop their craft into a career. The Pottery Lab's creation resulted in around 100 kilns being constructed in the Boulder area.
Betty Woodman met George Woodman in a pottery class she was teaching in Boston in 1950. They married in 1953. George Woodman was a painter and photographer. He headed the University of Colorado Boulder art department. He passed away in March 2017. Betty and George Woodman had two children. Their daughter, Francesa Woodman, was an acclaimed photographer who took her life in 1981 at age 22. Their son, Charles Woodman, is an artist.
Awards and honors
Woodman's awards and honors include:
- National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships (1980,1986)
- Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship at the Bellagio Study Center, Bellagio, Italy (1995)
- Fulbright-Hays Scholarship to Florence Italy (1996)
- Doctor of Fine Arts Honors Causa from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (2006)
- Doctor of Human Letters Honoris Causa from the University of Colorado Boulder (2007)
- Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design (2009)
- Gold Medal for Consummate Craftmanship, American Craft Council Awards (2014)
Woodman exhibited at museums and galleries in the US and internationally, including:
- 'Betty Woodman' at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1996)
- 'Betty Woodman' at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO (2002)
- 'Theaters of Betty Woodman' at the Museu Nacional do Azulejo, Lisbon (2005) and the Musée Ariana, Geneva (2006)
- 'The Art of Betty Woodman' a retrospective exhibition of her career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2006)
- 'Betty Woodman: Roman Fresco/Pleasures and Places' first exhibited at the American Academy in Rome (2010)
- 'Betty Woodman: Theatre of the Domestic' at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, 2016
Woodman's work is included in public collections, including:
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
- Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
- Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
- Museum of Modern Art, New York
- Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
- National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
- Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
- Victoria and Albert Museum, London
- Minneapolis Institute of Art
In the 1991 documentary Thinking Out Loud, Woodman is interviewed by curator and painter John Perreault. In 2006 the monograph, Betty Woodman, was produced in conjunction with her retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and it includes curatorial essays by Janet Koplos, Barry Schwabsky, and Arthur Danto.
- Whiting, David (2018-01-17). "Betty Woodman obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
- Sandomir, Richard (2018-01-05). "Betty Woodman, Who Spun Pottery Into Multimedia Art, Dies at 87". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
- Benezit Dictionary of Artists. 2011. doi:10.1093/benz/9780199773787.article.B00400216.
- Betty Woodman. Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum. 1996. p. 7. ISBN 9050061117. OCLC 37297410.
- "The Art of Betty Woodman | The Metropolitan Museum of Art". www.metmuseum.org. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- Heath, Jennifer (ed.) (2016). Celebration! A History of the Visual Arts in Boulder. Boulder, CO: Baksun Books and Art. p. 204. ISBN 978-1-887997-37-9.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- "Betty Woodman, renowned artist and force behind Boulder Pottery Lab, dies at 87". Boulder Daily Camera. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
- Familiar-Studio.com, Familiar. "Betty Woodman - Salon 94". Salon94. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "Honorary Degrees, University Medals and Distinguished Service Awards Full List A-Z". University of Colorado. 2014-06-23. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
- "Honorary Degree Recipients|1990-2016" (PDF). Retrieved March 7, 2018.
- "Masters: Betty Woodman". craftcouncil.org. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- Betty Woodman : February 16-April 14, 2002, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art. Sedalia, Missouri: Daum Museum of Contemporary Art. 2002.
- "Betty Woodman press release American Academy of Rome" (PDF). American Academy of Rome.
- "Betty Woodman: Theatre of the Domestic". ica.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "Pillow Pitcher". Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "On the loss of Pioneering Artist Betty Woodman". Denver Art Museum.
- "Betty Woodman | Deco Lake Shore | The Met". The Metropolitan Museum of Art, i.e. The Met Museum. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "Betty Woodman | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "Whitney Museum of American Art: Betty Woodman". collection.whitney.org. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "Artist Info". www.nga.gov. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Philadelphia Museum of Art - Collections Object : Diptych Vases, Orpheus". philamuseum.org. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "Pillow Vase | Woodman, Betty | V&A Search the Collections". collections.vam.ac.uk. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- Woodman, Betty. "Betty Woodman, "Cup With Gondola, 1982," Minneapolis Institute of Art". Retrieved Mar 9, 2019.
- "Betty Woodman, "Urn, c. 1985," Minneapolis Institute of Art". Retrieved March 9, 2019.
- Woodman, Betty (2006-01-01). Betty Woodman. Monacelli Press. ISBN 9781580931687.
- The Ceramics of Betty Woodman, exhibition catalogue, Freedman Gallery, Albright College,Reading, 1986.
- Berlind, Robert: Betty Woodman: Between Sculpture and Painting, exhibition catalogue, Blanden Memorial Art Museum, Fort Dodge, Iowa, 1999.
- Danto, Arthus C/Koplos, Janet/Schwabsky, Barry: Betty Woodman, Monacelli Press, New York, 2006.