Fairfield University will exhibit 40 works from the Brandywine workshop

Photo by Amy Coval

Pieces from a Philadelphia art studio will soon be on display in a Connecticut museum. 40 works of the Brandywine Workshop and Archives were acquired by the Fairfield University Art Museum to be prepared for the exhibition. Founded in Philadelphia in 1972 by artist Allan Edmunds, Brandywine offers community engagement, local arts programming, and sponsorship residencies for known and unknown artists.

Fairfield’s newly acquired works are part of Brandywine’s initiative to place “satellite collections” in university art museums across the country. According to a press release, these collections are intended to “bring the art of diverse cultures to institutions and communities that wish to enrich or diversify existing collections.” Fairfield University is Brandywine’s only satellite collection in Connecticut and one of 18 satellite collections in the United States. The university joins the Harvard Art Museums and the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. among other institutions with Brandywine satellite collections.

The works in the collection date from the 1980s to the present day. A press release stated that the majority of the pieces are made by BIPOC artists, with more than 50% of the pieces made by female artists. Artists like Adger Cowans, Janet Taylor Pickett, Eduardo “Choco” Roca Salazar and Larry Walker are part of the university’s new collection.

In 2021, the Fairfield University Art Museum created the Black art backgrounds, which the university said was intended to “address the lack of diversity in its permanent collections.” The fund is dedicated to the acquisition of contemporary works by black artists and has been used to fund the satellite collection of the Brandywine Workshop and Archives. The fund was first used to buy artwork by black artists last year, which were among the earliest unceded pieces in the museum’s permanent collection. Support for the Black Art Fund comes from both financial contributions and donations of “museum-quality artwork”.

The museum’s exhibition of works from the Brandywine studio and archive is scheduled for fall 2024.


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