“Benton Spruance: World of One's Own”

November 12 - December 17, 2003

Organized in conjunction with the University's sesquicentennial celebration, this exhibition of prints by Philadelphia artist and former Beaver College professor Benton Spruance (1904-1967) provides a contemporary platform from which to survey the evolution of mid-twentieth century Modernism. Grounded in social realism, Spruance's prints chronicle an expansive range of American experience, increasingly employing abstraction and graphic stylization as they encompass more literary and mythological themes. Spruance's belief in the democratic possibilities of lithography, as well as his technical innovations in the medium, join his advocacy towards securing Philadelphia's groundbreaking One Percent for Art ordinance as part of his enduring legacy.

Detail from: The People Work - Evening, 1937, Lithograph
Courtesy of Print and Picture Collection, The Philadelphia Free Library, Catalogue #143