Last June, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) announced it would serve as the new home for the Brodsky Center (BC). Within a few weeks, the print and paper workshop left its birthplace at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where it had been founded in 1986, to begin a new chapter at the venerable art school and museum in Philadelphia. Under President David Brigham’s leadership over the past decade, PAFA has placed renewed emphasis on community outreach, inclusivity in its visiting artist/critic program, and providing students with hands-on art world experience. The new arrangement enables PAFA to take a more active role in the wider printmaking world and offers the Brodsky Center a new home in an institution that shares its commitment to socially grounded art by women and artists of color.
The move was initiated in the fall of 2017 by the Center’s founder, Judith Brodsky, who also sits on PAFA’s Collections Committee. (As I discussed in the May 2015 issue of the Ink blog,1) the relationship with Rutgers had not been optimal for either organization for some years.) Paola Morsiani, director of the Brodsky Center, moved in July 2018 to begin establishing the new facilities and programs. Master papermaker Anne McKeown will teach workshops at PAFA and oversee its new papermaking studio, while master printer Randy Hemminghaus will not make the move. At the 2018 E/AB Fair, the Center presented its first edition under the PAFA aegis, a work by Jonathan Lyndon Chase, an alumnus of the school. I sat down with Morsiani and Clint Jukkala, dean of the School of Fine Arts at PAFA, in November 2018 to discuss their vision for the organization’s new life.
- Sarah Kirk Hanley, “University-based Workshops Respond to the Crisis in Higher Education,” Ink, Art in Print, 18 May 2015, artinprint.org/ink-blog/university-based-workshops-respond-to-the-crisis-in-higher-education. (The blog is no longer published.