Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Picture of the Week

The Marble Box

Margo Humphrey (b.1942)
The Marble Box, 1987
Lithograph
22 x 30 inches
Gift of Fine Arts Dean
Photograph: Daniel Sperry

Vivacious and groundbreaking, Margo Humphrey is a contemporary game-changer in the realm of printmaking and illustration. Humphrey earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts, focusing in printmaking, and later on earned her Master of Fine Arts from Stanford University. She’s taught at Institutions all over the world, in California, Texas, Fiji, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Her work is in the collections of Museum of Modern Art New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Hampton University Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. As a printmaker she’s famous for her use of storytelling, color as a way to elevate the expressive line quality in her pieces, and for creating autobiographical work.

The Marble Box, depicted in primary colors, speaks to the essence of Humphrey’s work. Humphrey intentionally works in the primary colors she used to make art with as a child. She’s interested in connecting with viewers beyond the Institutions she works in, succeeding in this vision through her primal use of line and color, and her vulnerable use of personal content. Each piece is incepted from her personal stories, so as a viewer, we know that this up-close look at the marble box is more than a still life, it is also a self-portrait of Humphrey. With marbles bouncing all over the page, there is a feeling of joy, pizazz, and untampered energy.

Text by Emily Lane Borden