Our Own Work, Our Own Way: Ascendant Women Artists in the Johnson Collection

January 21, 2023 - May 21, 2023

This exhibition brings together 41 female artists of the 20th century who had connections to the South — including Emma Amos, Beverly Buchanan, Elaine de Kooning, Zelda Fitzgerald, Gwendolyn Knight, and Columbia’s own Laura Spong — while shining a spotlight on several other regional artists. Having faced resistance from the art world for decades, many of these artists are just beginning to come out of the shadows of art history. Women artists in the South particularly encountered resistance in their quest to gain parity, especially when their mode of expression was modern in style or subject. Furthermore, contemporary female artists of color faced what Loïs Mailou Jones, also featured in the exhibition, termed the “double handicap” of racism and sexism. Like their sisters to the north, these Southern women often worked alongside, but in the shadows of, their more celebrated male counterparts. Comprised of artwork from the 1930s to the 1990s, Our Own Work, Our Own Way champions a roster of artists whose aesthetic achievements transcended convention and invigorated the South’s modern milieu.

Presented by the Johnson Collection, LLC. Contributing Sponsor: Prisma Health. Friend Sponsors: Barbara B. Boyd; Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin M. Gimarc; Brenda Wheeler. Patron Sponsor: Bill Schmidt.