L to R: Images 1-6: Betty Woodman. “Impruneta Flower Pots,” c. 1998-2004. Variable dimensions. Terra cotta. Views in Antella, Italy / Betty Woodman with Tullio Orlandi, Italy, c. 1998-2004.
Betty Woodman. “Impruneta Flower Pots,” c. 1998-2004. Variable dimensions. Terra cotta. Views in Antella, Italy.
Betty Woodman, "Impruneta Flowers Pots," c. 1998-2004, Antella, Italy: From the Archives...
Over summers spent in Antella, Italy, Betty Woodman often developed projects which could only be realized there. From 1998-2004, she collaborated with a pottery in Impruneta—a nearby town renowned for its terra cotta clay—enlivening their standard-issue garden planters with her vase-shaped façades and signature brushstrokes.
L to R: All artworks by Betty Woodman. Images 1-2: Installation views of “Horizontal Garden” (2005), The Great Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006. 29 x 32 x 18 in. Glazed earthenware / Installation view of “The Art of Betty Woodman,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, April 25—July 30, 2006. Photographs by Eli Ping.
Installation view of Betty Woodman's “Horizontal Garden” (2005), The Great Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006. 29 x 32 x 18 in. Glazed earthenware. Photograph by Eli Ping.
Betty Woodman, Met Vases, 2006: From the Archives...
Spring flowers always remind us of Betty Woodman, and particularly her vases in the Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which greeted visitors to the museum with their bold colors, overlapping patterns and allusions to vases and gardens, holding an ever-changing display of seasonal blooms. They were installed on the occasion of her 2006 retrospective there—the first time the museum dedicated such an exhibition to a living woman artist.
L to R: Images 1-4: All from Betty Woodman’s first trip to Fiesole, near Florence, Italy, 1951-52 / Soggiorno degli Stranieri in Italia ("Foreigner's Stay in Italy”) for Betty Woodman, 1951.
From Betty Woodman’s first trip to Fiesole, near Florence, Italy, 1951-52.
Betty Woodman's trip to Fiesole, Italy, 1951-52: From the Archives...
Betty Woodman first traveled to Italy in 1951, on the suggestion of her friends Grace and John Tagliabue who invited her to join them there. She spent the year in Fiesole, renting a room on a hillside overlooking Florence and its Duomo and working in a pottery studio owned by painter Giorgio Ferrero and sculptor Lionello Fallacara.
L to R: 1-4: Betty Woodman’s slide collection / Betty Woodman. “Interior Diptych,” 1998. 28 x 52 x 10 in. Glazed earthenware / Betty Woodman. “Seashore,” 1998. 24 x 58 x 9 in. Glazed earthenware. Private collection.
Betty Woodman’s slide collection.
Betty Woodman's slide collection: From the Archives...
Hi, this is Molly McBride Jacobson, archives intern at the Woodman Family Foundation. One of my projects has been inventorying, condensing, and rehousing Betty Woodman’s slide collection, which she used to document her work from the 1970s until the mid-2000s. She used this collection as a pre-digital database, arranging her slides by year and then separately by format.
L to R: Betty Woodman. "Wallpaper 16," 2017. 112 x 209 x 1 in. Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, acrylic paint / Images 2-4: Various wall relief components and templates created by Betty Woodman / Ryan Brady with Betty Woodman’s “Wallpaper 9,” 2015. Variable dimensions. Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, acrylic paint.
Betty Woodman. "Wallpaper 16," 2017. 112 x 209 x 1 in. Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, acrylic paint.
Betty Woodman, "Wallpaper 16," 2017: STAFF PICKS
Ryan Brady, Collections Manager: Betty Woodman was an artist whose pragmatism seemingly stood in contrast to the loose comfort of her artistic style, but those of us who knew her well understood this sensibility as an asset to her prolific output. She kept things. Her Wallpaper pieces, which I had the privilege of closely working with her on during my time as her studio assistant from 2011 until her passing in 2018, resulted from her instinct to put all her materials to use.
L to R: Betty Woodman with Joyce Kozloff, 1981. Photo by Sylvia Plachy / 2-4: Betty Woodman, collaboration with Joyce Kozloff. “Cups," (3 of 12), 1980. 5 in. diameter / "Chrysanthemum Vase," 1980. 14 in / “Purple Toucan Pitcher,” 1980. 17 in. All glazed earthenware / 5-7: Betty Woodman, collaboration with Cynthia Carlson. Installation views, "An Interior Exchanged,” ArtisanSpace, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, 1982. Dimensions variable. All paint and glazed ceramic.
Betty Woodman with Joyce Kozloff, 1981. Photo by Sylvia Plachy
Betty Woodman, collaborations with Joyce Kozloff and Cynthia Carlson: From the Archives...
In the early 1980s, as Betty Woodman moved into a New York City loft with her husband, George Woodman, and began to shift her functional practice towards ceramic sculpture, she became friends with many artists deeply involved with the Pattern and Decoration movement. She collaborated with two of them: Joyce Kozloff and Cynthia Carlson.‍ With Kozloff, Woodman made ceramic forms—whether cups and saucers, pitchers or trays—which Kozloff then decorated with rich patterns inspired by Islamic tiles and motifs. The resulting works, which dissolve the line between craft and art, were shown in exhibitions at Tibor de Nagy Gallery and the Queens Museum in 1981.
L to R: Our archives intern Molly McBride Jacobson digs into unsorted family photographs from our archives, 2021.
Our archives intern Molly McBride Jacobson digs into unsorted family photographs from our archives, 2021.
Our archives intern Molly McBride Jacobson digs into unsorted family photographs from our archives: From the Archives...
The Woodman Family Foundation archives include boxes and boxes of family photographs, spanning the early days George and Betty spent in Albuquerque where they welcomed their son Charlie into the world; to their move to a modernist home in Boulder—the site of many birthday parties, pottery sales, impromptu installations of paintings and Francesca’s earliest experiments with “dress up;” until just a few years ago enjoying breakfast with their grandson Alexander in both New York and Antella.
Betty Woodman. Installation view and details, "Alessandro’s Rooms," 2011. 102.5 x 354.5 x 15.75 in. Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, acrylic paint, canvas.
Betty Woodman. "Alessandro’s Rooms," 2011. 102.5 x 354.5 x 15.75 in. Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, acrylic paint, canvas.
Betty Woodman in "The Flames: The Age of Ceramics" at Musee d'Art Moderne de Paris, Paris, France, October 15, 2021-February 6, 2022
"The Flames" takes a transhistorical approach to ceramics to assert the critical relationship of clay to both art and humankind. The exhibition combines ancient objects dating back to the Neolithic with those made by contemporary artists—including Betty Woodman—and everything in between.
All images related to Betty Woodman’s “Bronze Bench #3,” 2003. 57 x 62 x 16 in. Bronze, patina. From L to R: clay models for bronze benches outside Betty’s studio in Antella, Italy / Benches in progress at the Fonderia with Betty’s full-scale drawing / Applying the patina according to Betty’s drawing / The finished bench arrives at Betty’s studio in Antella / Installation view in the courtyard of the Palazzo Pitti, Museo delle Porcellane, Florence, Italy, 2010 / Installation view, “Betty Woodman: In the Garden,” Greenwood Gardens, Short Hills, New Jersey, 2016 / Betty outside of her studio in Antella.
Clay models for Betty Woodman's bronze benches outside Betty’s studio in Antella, Italy, c. 2003.
Betty Woodman's functional bronze sculptures: From the Archives...
On occasion, Betty Woodman translated her abiding interest in the subject of function into materials other than clay, always pushing the possibilities of a particular medium. In 1999, she began an ongoing collaboration with Fonderia Artistica Belfiore in Pietrasanta, Italy, an idea which came from a conversation with her longtime gallerist, Max Protetch and was in part inspired by fellow gallery artist Scott Burton’s sculptural furniture, as well as the formal Italian gardens she had spent decades exploring.