The Brandywine Workshop: The fine print

When he founded the Brandywine Workshop in 1972, “it was born out of the passions and commitments of African-American artists,” Allan Edmunds recalled at the Art Museum last week. “But it was never just about African-Americans.”

That point is vividly made by the dozens of prints on display in “Full Spectrum: Prints from the Brandywine Workshop.” Spanning the innovative printmaking workshop’s four decades, the show features works by a multicultural blend of artists dealing in a vast array of styles, from pointed political commentary to profound personal exploration to pure abstraction.

The show comes as a result of the Brandywine Workshop’s gift of 100 prints by 89 artists to the museum in honor of its late director, Anne d’Harnoncourt. Looking through the work, said curator Shelley Langdale, “we were thrilled and awed by the extraordinary range of both subject matter and stylistic approach. In these prints you see artists examining concerns about what constitutes personal and social identity and concerns about the human condition in general.”

While the exhibition commemorates a landmark birthday, Edmunds insisted that it “represents not just the 40th anniversary for us, but the culmination of the dream of so many artists who vowed to create an institution where excellent art could be produced and would be appreciated for the ages.”

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