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Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection

Detail from Art Studio, by Thereas Pollak.
The Johnson Collection

Spanning the decades between the late 1890s and early 1960s, The Johnson Collection’s new exhibition and its companion book, Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection, examine the particularly complex challenges Southern women artists confronted in a traditionally conservative region during a period in which women’s social, cultural, and political roles were being redefined and reinterpreted. How did the variables of historical gender norms, educational barriers, race, regionalism, sisterhood, suffrage, and modernism mitigate and motivate women seeking expression on canvas or in clay? Whether in personal or professional arenas? Working from studio space in spare rooms at home or on the world stage, the artists considered made remarkable contributions by fostering future generations of artists through instruction, incorporating new aesthetics into the fine arts, and challenging the status quo.

To discuss the book and exhibition, Dr. Edgar is joined by Lynne Blackman, Director of Communications for the Johnson Collection, curatorial advisor Susanna Johnson Shannon, and curator and essayist Martha Severens.

Central to Their Lives: Southern Women Artists in the Johnson Collection is currently on display at Wofford College in Spartanburg, its last South Carolina stop on a three-year tour, through December 18th at. The tour ends with a residency at Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia, February 6–June 13, 2021.

- Originally broadcast 11/09/18 - 

 News & Music Stations: Fri, Oct 02, 12 pm; Sat, Oct 03, 7 am | News & Talk Stations: Fri, Oct 02, 12 pm; Sun, Oct 04, 4 pm

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.