Thanks to a gift of more artworks by West Virginia artist Grace Martin Taylor, presented by her daughter, Lucie Mellert, the new Art Museum of WVU now has an example of each of the prints Taylor created in her lifetime.
Mellert recently donated an additional 78 small prints created by her mother, as well as the blocks that were carved by Taylor to create those prints, to WVU’s art collection, to be housed in the new Art Museum that officially opens on Aug. 25.
According to Robert Bridges, curator of the Art Museum of WVU, Mellert has made several donations of her mother’s works in the past.
“Lucie has been actively working with me on building a one-of-a-kind collection that shows all facets of Grace Martin Taylor’s art,” he said.
The recent gift adds to the complete collection of Taylor’s white-line prints donated by Mellert in 2011 and the 49 additional works she donated last year.
“Within this new group is an example of each of the other prints Taylor created in her lifetime—small linoleum and woodcuts printed in black and white, as well as a rare small color white-line woodblock print,” Bridges said.
“We are very grateful to Lucie Mellert for her generosity and dedication to preserving her mother’s artistic legacy.”
Grace Martin Taylor was born in Morgantown in 1903 and graduated from WVU in 1928 before embarking on her career in art, becoming one of America’s innovative printmakers of the second quarter of the 20th century. She also studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts with American Modernist Arthur Carles in the 1920s and received her master’s degree in Art from WVU in 1949.
She continued post-graduate study at a number of prestigious art schools and was particularly known for her white-line, color woodblock prints.
Taylor worked in Provincetown, Massachusetts, for 28 summers and also dedicated her life to teaching art in West Virginia, where she is credited with perpetuating modern art and abstraction. She was head of the art department and also president (1955-56) of the Mason College of Music and Fine Arts in Charleston, West Virginia. In 1956 Mason College joined with Morris Harvey College, which is now the University of Charleston.
Since her death in 1995, Taylor’s art has been exhibited throughout the United States, most notably at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Academy of Design, the Smithsonian Institution, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, ACME Fine Art in Boston and the British Museum.
Lucie Mellert is a photographer whose work appeared for many years in “On the Town,” a regular column of the Sunday Charleston Gazette-Mail in Charleston, West Virginia.
Mellert’s gift to the Art Museum of WVU was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.
For more information about the opening of the Art Museum of WVU in August, see the website: http://artmuseum.wvu.edu/
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
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