Public Works: Art by Elizabeth Olds

Explore the under-told story of Elizabeth Olds (1896–1991), an innovative artist who worked to bring art into the daily lives of more Americans. The first woman to receive the Guggenheim Fellowship for visual arts, Olds became a vital force in the Works Progress Administration and later a celebrated children's book author-illustrator. As a WPA printmaker and educator, she captured the essence of Depression-era America and championed the affordability and accessibility of silkscreen printing. Through her dedication to experimentation, she sought to activate the uniquely democratic possibilities of printmaking and mobilize fine art as an impactful education tool. This exhibition represents the first critically engaged exploration of Olds's extensive body of work, showcasing over 100 prints, paintings, drawings, and illustrations from the 1920s to the 1960s. The exhibition examines Olds's artistic legacy—from her poignant portrayals of labor conditions in American industry, to her satirical social commentary, to her engaging children's books—and underscores the enduring significance of art in everyday life.

Saturday, May 25 at 12:00pm

More dates through July 14, 2024

Harry Ransom Center (HRC)
300 21ST ST W, Austin, Texas 78705

Event Type

Arts & Humanities


All Departments

Target Audience

Students, Staff, Faculty, Alumni, Families, General Public






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