Betty Woodman

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Elizabeth Woodman (née Abrahams; May 14, 1930 – January 2, 2018) was an American ceramic artist.[1][2] She began her career in the 1950s as a production potter, but her decision to become a potter dates back to her teenage years, when she took a class in high school and became "fascinated with the magic of ceramic glaze." She attended the School for American Craftsmen at Alfred University, where she created a custard cup for an assignment for a production piece.[3]

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 [4] and a solo show at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 2016 with the very appropriate title Theatre of the Domestic [5].

She married the artist, George Woodman, in 1953. Together, they had two children: the electronic artist, Charles Woodman, and the photographer, Francesca Woodman. The story of these four artists was told in C. Scott Willis's documentary, The Woodmans (2010).

Betty taught for thirty years at the University of Colorado sharing her energy for ceramics with her students.[6]

She died in January 2018 of natural causes, less than a year after her husband's death (the previous March).

Awards and honors[edit]

Woodman's awards and honors include:[7]


Woodman has exhibited at museums and galleries in the US and internationally, including:


Woodman's work is included in public collections, including:

Other contributions[edit]

In the 1991 documentary Thinking Out Loud, Woodman is interviewed by curator and painter John Perreault. In 2006 the monograph, Betty Woodman,[19] 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.


  1. ^ "Betty Woodman, Visionary Sculptor of Ceramic Vessels, Has Died at 87 - artnet News". 3 January 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2018. 
  2. ^ "Betty Woodman biography presented by". Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  3. ^ Glueck, Grace (April 28, 2006). "Art Review". New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b "The Art of Betty Woodman | The Metropolitan Museum of Art". Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  5. ^ a b "Betty Woodman: Theatre of the Domestic | Institute of Contemporary Arts". Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  6. ^ a b Betty Woodman. Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum. 1996. p. 7. ISBN 9050061117. OCLC 37297410. 
  7. ^, Familiar,. "Betty Woodman - Salon 94". Salon94. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  8. ^ "Honorary Degrees, University Medals and Distinguished Service Awards Full List A-Z". University of Colorado. 2014-06-23. Retrieved 2018-03-07. 
  9. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients|1990-2016" (PDF). Retrieved March 7, 2018. 
  10. ^ "Masters: Betty Woodman | American Craft Council". Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  11. ^ Betty Woodman : February 16-April 14, 2002, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art. Sedalia, MO: Daum Museum of Contemporary Art. 2002. 
  12. ^ "Pillow Pitcher". Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  13. ^ "Betty Woodman | Deco Lake Shore | The Met". The Metropolitan Museum of Art, i.e. The Met Museum. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  14. ^ "Betty Woodman | MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  15. ^ "Whitney Museum of American Art: Betty Woodman". Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  16. ^ "Artist Info". Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  17. ^ Art, Philadelphia Museum of. "Philadelphia Museum of Art - Collections Object : Diptych Vases, Orpheus". Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  18. ^ "Pillow Vase | Woodman, Betty | V&A Search the Collections". Retrieved 2016-05-02. 
  19. ^ Woodman, Betty (2006-01-01). Betty Woodman. Monacelli Press. ISBN 9781580931687. 

External links[edit]