Museum Staff Collections: Amy Newell, Exhibition Specialist Sharing the Work of Judy Pfaff and Sam Gilliam

Get a glimpse into the personal art collection of Ogden Museum Exhibition Specialist, Amy Newell! This is the second post in a fun series looking at the art collections belonging to Ogden Museum staff.

Judy Pfaff, Year of the Dog #3, 2008, Woodblock, encaustic, archival inkjet, collage and hand painting, Varied edition of 20, 38 1/2 x 86 1/2 inches

I have quite a collection of works on paper and fine art prints, specifically. I worked for a print shop for almost twenty years and had the luxury of getting to know many of the artists we worked with. I have a very personal connection with my collection, making it difficult to choose a favorite. One of my showstopper pieces is a work called Year of the Dog #3 by artist Judy Pfaff. It is a mixed media print, measuring four feet by eight feet, that incorporates many printmaking techniques and breaks quite a few rules in the process. Mostly known as an installation artist and sculptor, Judy brings a fearlessness to her printmaking practice, which is fascinating to witness. Her end result is the real WOW moment. Typically, when a print comes off the printing press it is finished, but this is just the beginning for Judy Pfaff. Using multiple sheets of printed Kozo paper, Pfaff folds, cuts and layers the sheets to create sculptural prints. The work is framed in a shadow box type frame to allow for the dimension created by the folded layers. If you are not familiar with Judy Pfaff, I highly recommend looking her up because she is an amazing artist! Year of the Dog #3 is one of my favorite pieces for a variety of reasons. As a printmaker, I am intrigued by Pfaff’s process and impressed by the scale and complexity of her prints. As an art lover, I am drawn in for purely aesthetic reasons: color, composition, balance, tension and texture. Like all the pieces in my collection, living with this work of art brings me joy on a daily basis.


Sam Gilliam, Bowling, 2002, Relief print on wood veneer

Another favorite from my collection is Bowling by Sam Gilliam, a beloved artist in the Ogden Museum’s permanent collection. Bowling is a relief print on wood veneer that is mounted to a sheet of traditional printmaking paper. Using discarded aluminum lithography plates, Gilliam cut the plates into shapes, hand inked them and ran them through the printing press, using thinly milled wood veneer in place of printmaking paper as the substrate. Because the veneer does not absorb ink like printmaking paper, this work has a beautiful jewel like quality to the printed surface. If you are familiar with Sam Gilliam’s work, you know that this is not his typical style. When he created this series of work in 2002, he said it was his first departure in 25 years. This work hangs over my bed in place of a headboard. I love the peaceful Zen quality of the composition, but also the vibrant palette and the nontraditional materials used.

– Amy Newell, Exhibition Specialist