Oregon-based philanthropist and owner of one of the world’s most important post-war and contemporary print collections, Jordan D. Schnitzer, the president of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, has acquired the significant print archive of world-renowned artist Judy Chicago, whose art has pushed the boundaries of technology and subject matter for her entire six-decade career.
Chicago’s print archive and the associated studies and process works represent her journey as a woman artist in an art world long dominated by male artists, curators and critics.
When Judy Chicago and Tonya Turner Carroll discussed the placement of Chicago’s print archive, Turner Carroll instantly knew that the person who should shepherd the archive through history was Jordan Schnitzer with whom she and her husband, Michael Carroll, have worked for the past decade. Schnitzer, whose collection includes almost 20,000 artworks, has made a bold commitment to women in the arts through his acquisition of the Judy Chicago print archive.
Combined with major holdings of other important women artists, the acquisition of the Chicago’s print archive is a testament to the major impact socially conscious art collectors can have in shaping the future of art history. On his first visit to Belen, where Chicago lives and works, Schnitzer was impressed by the vast range of subject matter in Chicago’s print oeuvre.
“I was amazed by the scope, technical skill, and innovative spirit that I witnessed in her prints,” says Schnitzer.
“When I was a child, my father (who died when I was 13) taught me that it was my obligation to make a contribution to a better world,” Chicago said. “That mandate has guided me throughout my career. I am deeply thankful to Jordan Schnitzer for making it possible for me to make a step towards realizing my lifelong goal by shepherding my print archive (that provides a guide to my artistic practice) in a way that will preserve it and make it available to future generations.”
The print archive acquired by the foundation will function as a mini-retrospective spanning from the artist’s 1965 early feminist imagery to the present and beyond. Hundreds of individual prints and preliminary drawings and process works tell the story of one of the most influential artists of our time.
One of the most extraordinary aspects of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation’s acquisition of the Judy Chicago print archive is the foundation’s enormously generous museum exhibition and lending program. The foundation will not only photograph, document, frame and conserve the archive, but will make it available to scholars, curators and audiences worldwide, without charging exhibition fees.
With an introduction by influential curator and artistic director of Serpentine Gallery in London Hans Ulrich Obrist, the foundation will publish a catalog raisonne of the works in the archive.
The Judy Chicago Research Portal, which already includes Chicago’s archival materials held by Harvard’s Schlesinger Library, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Nevada Museum of Art, and Penn State University, will welcome The Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation as its newest partner.
“Since I started our print and multiple collection in 1995, it has been very rewarding to have had over 200 exhibitions nationally of the major post-World-War II and contemporary artists,” Schnitzer said. “The decision of Judy Chicago, the most important feminist artist of our time, to add her prints to our collection is very exciting! We will honor her career with exhibitions, publications, and most importantly, helping new audiences understand her remarkable impact on all of our lives.”
In celebration of the acquisition of the Judy Chicago’s Print Archive, the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation will launch a series of exhibitions featuring prints from Chicago’s archive. Joining them, Salon 94 in New York City will present an online exhibition titled “Chicago in Ink: An Autobiography” that highlights important works created by the artist from the 1960s to present.
This exhibition will be on view virtually from Sept. 16, 2020. Turner Carroll Gallery will also hold retrospective exhibitions of select Judy Chicago print works, both in its Santa Fe gallery space and online. The interactive online exhibition will open on Aug. 21, and will run through December 2020. Turner Carroll will host various lectures and events about Chicago’s career throughout the run of the exhibition, both on site and online.