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Ruth Weisberg Awarded SGCI Printmaker Emeritus Award

Ruth stamps students
Stamps alumna Professor Ruth Weisberg with Stamps students Nina Baracco, Margaret Hitch, Sarah Brennan, Elizabeth Pearlman, Anica Presley, and Tanner Petch at the SGCI Conference. 

Ruth Weisberg (B.S.DES 63, M.A., 64), Professor of Fine Arts and former Dean at the University of Southern California Roski School of Art, is the 2015 recipient of the Southern Graphics Council International Printmaker Emeritus Award. The largest print organization in North America, SCGI’s annual conference is the biggest annual gathering focused on the field of printmaking. The award is accompanied by an exhibition at the UT Downtown Gallery in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Ruth Weisberg has been an important influence on printmaking both as an artist and educator. Her creative activity and scholarship encompasses not only studio production in printmaking, painting, and drawing, but central and influential articles, essays and book chapters that have played a vital role in advancing print theory. Her 1986 essay Syntax of the Print” published in the Tamarind Papers is frequently assigned to students in printmaking programs and remains relevant almost 30 years after it was first published. As one of her nominators, Mark Pascale, Associate Curator of Printmaking at the Art Institute of Chicago, praised not only her work as a printmaker and draftsman, he also emphasized her writings as an important contribution to the field of printmaking. 

Weisberg’s artwork is notable for her commitment to both extending the history of art, and its continued relevance to the human experience today. Her themes are often ambitious ones, including cultural identity, love, mortality, history and community. Her work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally, with her recent exhibitions including Ruth Weisberg: Guido Cagnacci and the Resonant Image” at the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, and Ruth Weisberg: Unfurled” at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles. In total, she has presented over 80 one-person exhibitions at museums and galleries internationally. She is represented by Jack Rutberg Fine Arts in Los Angeles. 

Additionally, Weisberg’s work is in the collections of major museums, including the Getty Center; Norton Simon Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Smithsonian Museum of American Art and the Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Jewish Museum, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Harvard University; Biblioteca Nazionale d’Italia (Rome); and Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. 

Her honors include the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s 50th Anniversary Cultural Achievement Award 2011, the 2009 Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award, a National Council of Art Administrators Leadership Award, the USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award for Creative Work, the College Art Association’s Distinguished Teaching of Art Award), a Senior Research Fulbright combined with a visiting artist residency at the American Academy in Rome, a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar, and a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from Hebrew Union College. In addition, she served as the President of the College Art Association in the early 1990s.

Weisberg received her M.A. from the University of Michigan, and her Laurea in Painting and Printmaking from the Academia di Belle Arti, Perugia, Italy. Following her graduate studies, she also spent a year at Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17 in Paris, France. She is a Professor of Fine Arts and former Dean at the University of Southern California Roski School, and is currently the Director of the USC Initiative for Israeli Arts and Humanities.