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Materials Lab Workshop: Shadow/Substance—Paper Cutting and Kara Walker [AT CAPACITY]

Kara Walker, American, U.S.A. Idioms, 2017. Collage of Sumi ink and graphite on cut newsprint on gessoed white wove paper. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Margaret Fisher Fund, 2017.220.


Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

This event is at capacity.

This workshop takes inspiration from the art of Kara Walker, whose U.S.A. Idioms will be on view at the Harvard Art Museums from March through October 2019. This monumental collage, made with Sumi ink on newsprint, sheds new light on the themes of race and history that Walker has explored throughout her long career, including in an extensive body of work featuring silhouettes and other forms of cut paper.

Mary Schneider Enriquez, the Houghton Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, will introduce participants to Walker’s works in the galleries. Penley Knipe, the Philip and Lynn Straus Senior Conservator of Works of Art on Paper, head of the paper lab, and an expert on silhouettes, will lead a complementary discussion on historical portrait silhouettes and the botanical paper cutouts of Philipp Otto Runge in the Art Study Center.

Participants will spend the remainder of time in the Materials Lab experimenting with paper silhouettes and botanical cutouts under Knipe’s guidance. Through a group project inspired by Walker’s use of Sumi ink and newsprint, participants will think through the ways in which material and process inform an artist’s work.

The workshop will take place in the Materials Lab, Lower Level.

$15 materials fee. Registration is required and space is limited. Materials fee must be paid to confirm registration. Please email, stop by the museums’ admissions desk, or call 617-495-1440 to register. Minimum age of 14; no previous experience is required.