The Dictionary of American Studio Ceramics, 1946 Onward
The Dictionary of American Studio Ceramics, 1946 Onward
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1930Born Norwalk, Connecticut
2018 Died New York, New York
1948-1950 Alfred University, School for the American Craftsman, Alfred, New York
PRIMARY WORK EXPERIENCE
1979 Faculty, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
1998 Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado, Boulder
Betty Woodman began her career in the 1950s as a production potter. Later, as a studio potter Woodman worked with many domestic forms including baskets, dinnerware, pillow forms, pitchers, and vases. She is known for her sculptures which are anchored by a vessel form: either one that pours or contains. Woodman's pieces are typically made using white earthenware clay.
Her work is often influenced by her memories of paintings, landscapes or architecture seen in her travels. Throughout her career, Woodman returned to the vase form, repeatedly deconstructing and reconstructing this form in her sculptures. The vase connects her work to art historical still life vase motifs and is the form that anchors her work in the vessel based realm of clay. Gradually her pieces became sculptural forms with colorful painterly surfaces. Often she made compositions of two or more objects that grew from the deconstruction of similar pieces, their parts interchanged with abstracted new sculptural objects. A hallmark of Woodman’s work in various media is her love, understanding and inventive use of color.
In 1985 she began working with printer Bud Shark to produce monotypes, woodcuts, and lithographs. These are large and created with the same intense color and movement seen in her ceramics. At this same time, she began a series of large paintings to be shown as part of her ceramic installations. Although each installation contains a ceramic vessel, over time the painting became the major element in her work.
Woodman presents the vase, pillow form pitcher, and other domestic forms in ways that explore form and color challenging the traditional borders of the craft. Woodman has never drawn a line between art and craft and employs the best of each area in her work.
An interview with Betty Woodman conducted April 22 and April 29, 2003, by John Perreault, for the Archives of American Art’s Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America is available at www.aaa.si.edu/collections/interviews/oral-history-interview-betty-woodman-13297.
Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Alfred University, Alfred,New York
Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, Helena, Montana
Boymans-Van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Colorado State University Art Museum, Fort Collins, Colorado
Denver Airport, Denver, Colorado
Het Kruithuis, s’Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands
International Ceramic Museum, Faenza, Italy
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France
Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon
Museum Het Princessehof, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey
Provincial Museum Voor Moderne Kunst, Oostende, Belgium
Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, Missouri
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida
University of Arizona, Tempe, Arizona
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut
World Ceramic Center, Ichon, Korea
Axel, Jan and Karen McCready. Porcelain: Traditions and New Visions. New York, NY: Watson-Guptill, 1981.
Bortolotti, Paola, David Caméo, Ida Panicelli and Oliva Rucella. Betty Woodman - L’Allegra Vitalità delle Porcellane. Florence, Italy: Palazzo Pitti, Museo delle Porcellane, 2009.
Clark, Garth. A Century of Ceramics in the United States, 1878–1978. New York, NY: E. P. Dutton, 1979.
____,______. American Ceramics 1876–Present. New York, NY: Abbeville Publishers, 1988.
Danto, Arthur C. Betty Woodman. Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 1996.
Houston, John. The Abstract Vessel: Ceramics in Studio. London, England: Bellew Publishing, 1991.
Jensen, Robert and Patricia Conway. Ornamentalism: The New Decorativeness in Architecture and Design. New York, NY: Clarkson Potter, 1982.
Koplos, Janet, Arthur C. Danto and Barry Schwabsky. Betty Woodman. New York, NY: Monacelli Press, 2006.
Kuspit, Donald. Somewhere Between Naples and Denver. Denver, CO: Denver Art Museum, 1988.
Lynn, Martha Drexler. Clay Today: Contemporary Ceramists and Their Work. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA: Chronicle Books, 1990.
Miller, R. Craig. Modern Design in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1890–1990. New York, NY: Metropolitan Museum of Art and Harry N. Abrams Publishers, Inc., 1990.
Perrone, Jeff. The Ceramics of Betty Woodman. Reading, PA: Freedman Gallery, Albright College, 1985-1986.
Princenthal, Nancy. Betty Woodman. Sedalia, MO: Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, 2002.
Ramljak, Suzanne. Crafting a Legacy: Contemporary American Crafts in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 2002.
Woodman, Elizabeth. “Teapot Construction.” Ceramics Monthly (March 1969).
———. “Salt Glaze: Twenty Approaches to the Technique.” Craft Horizon (April 1972).
_________“Role of the Potter.” Studio Potter 2, no.2 (December 1976).
———. “About Pots.” Decade (February 1979).
———. “The Italian Experience.” Studio Potter 11, no.2 (June 1983).
———. “Betty Woodman.” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (Spring 1989).
———. “Keramico.” International Ceramics Magazine (February 1991).
———. “Readings on Color.” Studio Potter 35 no. 6 (December 2006).
______and George Woodman. “Ceramist’s Odyssey of Clay: Italy.” Craft Horizon (May 1980).
Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified July 13, 2023. http://themarksproject.org:443/marks/woodman