Image: Francisco De Goya, Spanish (1746-1828), Animal Folly, 1877, etching, aquaint, and tonal scratches, 9 ½ x 13 7/8 in. plate, The David and Sarojini Johnson Collection.
Written by Olivia Miller, Education Intern
A Wild Story: The David and Sarojini Johnson Print Collection is an exhibition of prints created with a wide range of techniques and styles, paired with essays examining the collection. The selections include works from influential German Expressionists, Midwestern artists and pieces tied to Nazi condemnation and the Atelier 17 legacy. The artists in this show revolutionized printing’s visual capabilities and pushed the definition of the form from Goya’s powerful imagery and legacy to the revival and development of new intaglio techniques.
A Wild Story is the first public exhibition of David and Sarojini Johnson’s four decades worth of collected prints. Their collection has grown to become a thorough representation of the life and legacy of the artists and movements that the Johnson’s value. Similar to their lives dedicated to art and education, the David and Sarojini Johnson print collection continues to communicate with, teach and inspire the next generation of printmakers.
Over 25 printmakers within the Johnson’s and DOMA’s collection (acquired per request of David Johnson).
The Johnson’s are lifelong printmakers and educators. From an education standpoint, these prints visualize lessons and teachings from Goya to Colescott. Sharing this collection with the university aligns with the Johnson value of sharing knowledge with the minds of the community.
Behind the Scenes with the Education Team:
Behind the scenes, the DOMA education team has been planning programming and resources to supplement visitor experiences during this exhibition. By participating in these lessons and activities, viewers will gain a deeper understanding of the context, process, and significance of the works:
- Why are they in the gallery?
- How and why were they made?
- What does the artist want us to take away from our time in front of these works of art?
These lessons encourage interdisciplinary thinking, as history and science play just as much of a role in the creation of these artworks as the elements and principles of design.
While at the gallery, visitors have the opportunity to experience printmaking in a hands-on way, through printing with foam and markers, exploration of textures and personalization of color within simplified paper versions of select works.
Everyone, regardless of age, is a student. Lifelong learning is always encouraged at DOMA. The education team prioritized making printmaking accessible to everyone, no matter what materials someone might have laying around at home. Printing with potato carvings can mimic a woodcut while scratchboard drawings introduce the same line qualities as intaglio.
By researching printing techniques used by the artists in the exhibition and creating lessons that make these processes accessible to all students, the provided resources align with the Johnson’s mission of making education available for the whole community.
The exhibition is open to the public from Feb. 23 to May 21 in the Francis Brown Study Room galleries, spaces that will be able to display the works in a cyclical, all-encompassing environment.
For a closer discussion with visiting artists about printmaker’s creative practices, join the Printmakers Panel and Reception on March 23. The museum will be open to the public for a 5:00 p.m. reception with the discussion beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Ball State University faculty, educators, and Museum Friends are invited to register for the Education Exhibition Overview tour on Feb. 27 at 4:00 p.m.
As always, thank you for reading the DOMA insider and make sure to come visit the museum soon! DOMA is free and open to the public; we are open Tuesday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Check out our website at bsu.edu/doma.