Michael Mazur

Images from a Locked Ward

Michael Mazur

Michael Mazur, The Occupant, from Images from a Locked Ward, 1965. Lithograph. Collection Danforth Art.

March 9–May 18, 2014

Members Only Reception

Saturday, March 8, 6–8pm

Reading by Poets Robert Pinsky and Gail Mazur

In celebration of the art of Michael Mazur
Saturday, March 15, 4pm
Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinksy and poet Gail Mazur will present a reading from their work in celebration of the life and work of artist Michael Mazur and Danforth Art’s current exhibition of Mazur’s print series Images from a Locked Ward, a portfolio of 14 lithographs depicting inmates in a mental asylum where the artist volunteered.  Called, Mazur’s “first artistic descent into Hell,” prints on view are a precursor to Mazur’s later collaboration with Pinsky on an illustrated edition of Dante’s Inferno. Free to Danforth Art Members, and with paid Museum admission.

About the Exhibition

Artist Michael Mazur first came to public notice in the early 1960s with his series of etchings and lithographs depicting inmates in a mental asylum in Howard, Rhode Island where Mazur volunteered as a hospital aide. “Images from a Locked Ward,” a portfolio of 14 lithographs created with master printer George Lockwood, has been called Mazur’s “first artistic descent into Hell.” This was a theme he later explored while illustrating poet Robert Pinsky’s translation of Dante’s Inferno. ”These lost souls,” John Canaday wrote in The New York Times, “have the terrible anonymity of individuals who cannot be reached, whose ugly physical presence is only the symptom of a tragic spiritual isolation.”

About the Artist

Born in New York city in 1935, Michael Mazur was an inventive printmaker and painter whose work encompassed social documentation, narrative and landscape while moving back and forth between figuration and abstraction. Educated at Horace Mann, Mazur received his BA from Amherst College, where he arranged to study with Leonard Baskin who taught at Smith College. He later received both his BFA and MFA at Yale’s School of Art and Architecture, and was in residence at the American Academy in Rome. Internationally recognized, Mazur exhibited widely and his work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum, NYC; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, NYC; Whitney Museum of Art, NYC. Mazur lived with his wife, poet Gail Mazur, in both Cambridge and Provincetown Massachusetts, and died in 2009.

Art and Healing

Danforth Art often explores the use of art as a mechanism for healing, for discovery, and for recovery, and this theme runs through our spring exhibitions. Learn more.


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