Contemporary Prints by American Women: A Selection from the Gift of Martha and Jim Sweeny

September 8, 2012-February 2, 2013
Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL

More than 60 prints by American women artists, made after 1950, have recently joined the Museum’s collection – and it is still growing. Since 2008, longtime Museum friends Martha and Jim Sweeny have given prints from their own collection and substantial funds for purchases. This represents the first time that some of the most compelling works have been shown together.

Elizabeth Murray (American, born 1940), Kid (2003). Monotype on paper. Museum Purchase with funds donated by Martha and Jim Sweeny.

The core of the Sweeny Collection at the MFA was inspired by the 1987 exhibition A Graphic Muse: Prints by Contemporary American Women, curated by legendary print specialists Richard S. Field and Ruth E. Fine. The MFA, with the support of the Sweenys, has acquired other impressions of prints that were included in that show: Joan Mitchell’s Flower I, Joyce Kozloff’s Homage to Robert Adam, and Breath-man by Susan Rothenberg.

More recent prints by artists who were represented in A Graphic Muse, as well those who have emerged in the last several years, have enhanced these holdings. This new installation features works by some of the most gifted artists of our time: Vija Celmins, Yvonne Jacquette, Lois Lane, Georgia Marsh, Elizabeth Murray, Howardena Pindell, Betye Saar, Pat Steir, and Joan Snyder.

This introduction to The Sweeny Collection only hints at the scope and diversity of the prints acquired by the Museum. A future exhibition will fill all of the first-floor galleries in the Hazel Hough Wing.

The Sweenys have also given significant works by contemporary self-taught artists and are deeply interested in post-1950 art, as well. They have donated prints by Adolph Gottlieb, Malcolm Morley, and Frank Stella, and a chair designed by Frank Gehry.

255 Beach Drive N.E.St. Petersburg, FL 33701

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