JUDY WATSON: experimental beds

  January 18, 2018 - September 30, 2018

  UVA Rotunda Upper West Oval Room


From January through September of 2018, Judy Watson’s experimental beds series were exhibited in the Rotunda’s Upper West Oval Room. In this suite of six etchings, Indigenous Australian artist Judy Watson draws parallels between Thomas Jefferson’s relationship with Sally Hemings and mixed-race relationships in her own family history. Incorporating Jefferson’s architectural drawings of the Academical Village and plants from Jefferson’s “experimental beds” at Monticello, this exhibition opens the “whitewashed” historical narratives about one of our nation’s founding fathers to the scrutiny of dispossessed and marginalized people around the world whose own stories resonate strongly with Hemings’.

These etchings were co-published by Kluge-Ruhe and are for sale. Please contact kluge-ruhe@virginia.edu for purchase information.

“I often deal with concealed histories, revealing them and removing the whitewash… Having learned something of Jefferson’s history, interwoven with relationships with his white family and African-American enslaved women and children also considered to be part of his blood family, I decided to use [Jefferson’s] architectural drawings as the bones for a series of works that investigated these relationships.” – Judy Watson




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Judy Watson: “experimental beds” by Noreen Grahame