Artworks L to R: George Woodman. “Beauty is Truth,” 1976. 52 x 52 in. Acrylic on canvas / Francesca Woodman. “Charlie the Model #10,” Providence, Rhode Island, 1976-77. 5 5/16 x 5 3/8 in. Vintage gelatin silver print / Betty Woodman. “Rain Forest Pillow Pitcher,” c. 1980s. 20 x 24 x 16 in. Glazed earthenware. Courtesy RISD Museum.
George Woodman. “Beauty is Truth,” 1976. 52 x 52 in. Acrylic on canvas.
RISD Museum Acquisitions
We’re thrilled that RISD Museum has acquired a group of important works by Betty, Francesca, and George Woodman from the Foundation’s holdings through a combination of museum funds and Foundation gifts. RISD occupies a singular place of importance for the Woodman family, from Francesca’s formative years there as a young artist and student to Betty’s 2005 solo exhibition at the museum and RISD Honorary Degree in 2009.
L to R: Betty Woodman, Italy, c. 1965-66 / Betty Woodman, Charles Woodman, and Francesca Woodman, Italy, c. 1960s / Charles Woodman and friend, Italy, c. 1966 / Betty Woodman and friends, Italy, c. 1966 / Betty Woodman, Francesca Woodman, and friend, Antella, Italy, c. 1968 / Betty Woodman and friends, Antella, Italy, c. 1980 / Betty Woodman, Antella, Italy, c. 1995 / George Woodman, Antella, Italy, c. 1995 / Betty Woodman, George Woodman, and friends, Antella, Italy, c. 1995.
Betty Woodman, Italy, c. 1965-66.
Dining al fresco with the Woodman family, c. 1960s-1995: From the Archives...
The Woodman family spent many summer days and evenings dining al fresco in Italy with family and friends throughout the years. Most of these snapshots were taken by George, who often had his camera in hand and documented their family life.
L to R: Betty Woodman, Charles Woodman, and Francesca Woodman, 1959 / George Woodman and Francesca Woodman, 1964 / Francesca Woodman, 1964 / 4-5: Charles Woodman, 1962 / Betty Woodman, 1959.
Betty Woodman, Charles Woodman, and Francesca Woodman, 1959
Summer with the Woodman family, 1959-1964: STAFF PICKS
Emma Horning is a Library and Information Science graduate student at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. As the Foundation’s Archives Intern, she has been digitizing photographic slides and prints in the collection and building a database to manage these archival materials: Summer brings us bountiful sun-drenched days. As a family, the Woodmans spent the summer months soaking in the potential the season brings.
L to R: All artworks by Betty Woodman. “Ladies Engaged in Unnecessary Activities,” 2017. 36 x 180 x 72 in / “Jules & Jim,” 2016. 9 x 36 x 15 in. All glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, paint, fabric.
Betty Woodman. “Ladies Engaged in Unnecessary Activities,” 2017. 36 x 180 x 72 in. Glazed earthenware, epoxy resin, lacquer, paint, fabric.
Betty Woodman, "Fabric Girls," 2002-2017: STAFF PICKS
Hafsa Habib, The Woodman Family Foundation’s Archive & Library Intern through the Studio Institute’s Summer Arts Intern program: When I came across Betty Woodman's "Fabric Girls" series, I immediately was drawn to the colorful sculptures that were each meticulously adorned in fabric. The dynamic poses of the figures give them each a life of their own.
L to R: The Woodman family and friends throughout the years in Antella, Italy, c. 1960s-2010s.
The Woodman family and friends, Antella, Italy, c. 1960s.
The breakfast nook, Antella, Italy, c. 1960s-2010s: From the Archives...
For over fifty years, the Woodman family has enjoyed many meals and conversations in the breakfast nook at their farmhouse in Antella, Italy. Built in a circular space that had originally housed a brick oven, the nook overlooks the hills of Tuscany and spectacular sunsets.
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.