In 1935, Frank Hartley Anderson founded the Southern Printmakers Society, the only major graphic arts society in the South at the time. For 10 years, the group circulated dozens of print exhibitions throughout the South, a region with few venues for viewing art, but its work was cut short by World War II. In celebration of the society, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will present the exhibition “Frank Hartley Anderson: Forging the Southern Printmakers Society” from March 26 to June 19, 2016.
Organized by guest curator Lynn Barstis Williams Katz, librarian emeritus, Auburn University, and a noted scholar on southern prints, the exhibition will display works made by a wide variety of artists who were members of the society. In 1994, one of Anderson’s daughters placed 73 prints in different media created by the society on longterm loan at the museum, and in 2008 she made the gift official.
Frank Hartley Anderson and his wife, the former Martha Fort, had a long-lasting impact on the South’s artistic community. By 1930, the two artists had begun collecting and exhibiting art in their home in Birmingham, Alabama. In founding the Southern Printmakers Society, the Andersons let printmakers share ideas and resources, creating touring exhibitions and giving out monetary prizes.
Instead of focusing only on printmakers working in the South, Anderson advertised in Art Digest, a national periodical, to diversify the society’s membership. By 1936, the society had organized its first exhibition, displaying more than 200 prints at the Birmingham Public Library. From there, the group went on to organize dozens of other exhibitions and promote artists throughout the United States.
The exhibition reveals a range of print media, styles and subjects within traditional, realistic composition, from Lynd Ward’s wood engraving “Seedling,” of a man cradling a tender young plant, to Hungarian-Canadian Nicholas Hornyansky’s colorful aquatint of a busy harborside market. It includes a number of works by women, who were active in the printmaking world, such as Alice Standish Buell, Frances Gearhart, Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer, Ella Fillmore Lillie, Elizabeth Norton and Gladys M. Wilkins.
Georgia Museum of Art - Frank Hartley Anderson: Forging the Southern Printmakers Society - 26.03.2016-19.06.2016