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Leaded: The Materiality and Metamorphosis of Graphite

August 23 to September 30, 2007

Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art


In a sense it is highly appropriate that a university museum organize an exhibition about graphite. After all, the pencil is one of the essential tools in foundation drawing classes. In fact the pencil is perhaps the most familiar of all tools to students taking their first steps at making art, as opposed to charcoal or chalk, or the brush loaded with oil or watercolor. To others, the pencil and the graphite it holds symbolize the essence of the creative act of drawing.

The elemental accessibility of graphite provides entree into much of the work in this exhibition, which ranges from intriguing experiments with the medium's metallic appearance to more conceptual examinations of written communication and language. Seen in totality, the art in Leaded allows us to look at this basic material in a new way, to appreciate its aesthetic versatility that finds resonance in the work of these artists. Here, as the title of the exhibition implies, graphite is seen in its materiality and its potential metamorphosis as a medium of art beyond drawing.

The exhibition was curated by N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University of Richmond Museums, and organized for tour by International Arts and Artists, Washington, DC. At the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, the exhibition and programs were made possible in part with the generous support of the University's Cultural Affairs Committee.

We would like to thank the lenders to the exhibition as well as the artists and their galleries for their assistance in organizing this exhibition.

Richard Waller

Executive Director

University of Richmond Museums

Publication Date



University of Richmond Museums


Richmond, VA


University of Richmond Museums, leaded, graphite, Meghan Gerety, Christopher Cook, Hsin-Hsi Chen, Molly Springfield, Shimon Okshteyn, Mark Sheinkman, Vija Celmins, Gloria Ortiz-Hernandez


Art and Design | Fine Arts | Sculpture

Leaded: The Materiality and Metamorphosis of Graphite