Betty Woodman. Family of Artists

Betty Woodman with students in the studio, Boulder, undated.
artist in studio classroom setting lecturing students taking notes
Betty Woodman with students in the studio, Boulder, undated. Photo by Rodman Reilly. Courtesy of American Craft Council Library & Archives.

Betty Woodman always enjoyed painting, but in her high-school art classes in Boston, where the artist grew up, she was drawn to clay: “It seemed real. . . . It seemed much less abstract than painting. . . . You put something in it and you used it and that was very important,” she once explained.1 Though her ceramics increasingly embraced abstraction and eventually incorporated her own painterly finishes, early in her career her husband—the painter and photographer George Woodman—painted her ceramics. They had met in Boston, where she was living after returning home from college and teaching a pottery class at the YMCA. George Woodman, then a freshman at Harvard, took one of Betty’s classes. Their artistic careers developed independently, but art and teaching—both would hold fine-art faculty positions at the University of Colorado at Boulder—were foundational in their lives together.

  1. Betty Woodman, in Charles Woodman, Betty Woodman: Thinking Out Loud, filmed in New York, April 1990, video, 19:31 minutes, available at ↩︎