Judith Braun
Judith Braun

Judith Braun received a Tree of Life Individual Artist Grant in 2017 for Archiving and Legacy Preservation.


Judith Braun's career began in 1988 in New York City showing with Group Material, followed by exhibitions at White Columns, at the Drawing Center and at Art in General. She had a solo exhibiiton at Souyun Yi Gallery (1990) and was included in the Bad Girls show at the New Museum of Contemporary Art curated by Marcia Tucker (1994). In 1995, she stepped back from her art career, due to family health issues, for eight years. In 2003, age 57, she decided to try again, creating all new work and community. Daunting, but since 2008, she has had New York City solo exhibitions at Fruit & Flower, Joe Sheftel, Simuvac, and McKenzie, with a rave review of the Sheftel show by Roberta Smith (2013). Her large scale, charcoal fingerprint wall drawings are in museums, galleries and commercial venues world wide, and her Burton Snowboard design was used by the women’s Olympic team (2014). She received a Pollack Krasner Grant (2014) and a Gottlieb Grant (2017). Her concurrent solo exhibitions in 2016 were subject of ArtCritical’s monthly “Review Panel,” and reviewed by Thomas Micchelli in Hyperallergic and Taney Roniger in the Brooklyn Rail. 


Project Description

Following my bout with breast cancer, 2012-13, I've become ever more attentive to archiving and legacy preservation. After reading artists' estate planning literature from Joan Mitchell and Marie Walsh Foundations, I began following the advice therein. I have always documented my work but there are numerous extenuating tasks, such as sorting through and digitally scanning early slides, getting available early work out of storage to re-shoot digitally, and setting up a comprehensive database of all my artwork. One of the most important first steps was to find assistants who are not only knowledgeable and capable, but who would take a genuine interest in my work and legacy. It’s a very personal endeavor and has taken time to form a small but dedicated Team who will “be there for me” when the time comes. My daughter is part of the Team, but I’m not expecting her to manage my art affairs directly, as per most advisors. Though being represented by an established gallery might be part of the picture down the road, I cannot plan on that at the moment. So, my Project Proposal is to help fund my current archiving and legacy efforts. 

In the year ahead, I will make a concerted effort to familiarize my assistants with my computer files, physical "binder" system, and the Excel database that I began, and that needs to be continually updated. There's a cross referencing between them all that is best learned through practical use. Therefore my regular weekly schedule, though incremental, will eventually build familiarity and knowledge about my work, my studio inventory, and my life as an artist. Of course, I'm still making art and I am heading to San Francisco this summer to do a commissioned wall drawing in a private residence. But it is the archiving work with my assistants that I am requesting funds for at this time. I'd be most grateful for your generous grant to help cover my assistants and the Oral History, not to mention the scanning of slides that has begun.