Herlinde Spahr Biography

Herlinde Spahr




Herlinde Spahr, printmaker and author, was born in Antwerp, Belgium on December 19, 1952. She was an exchange student in Greene, Iowa under the program Youth for Understanding for the school year 1971-1972, and then attended the School for Dramatic Art in Antwerp, Belgium in 1972-1973. Spahr received her MA from the University of Antwerp, Cum Laude, in 1977. That same year she moved to Northern California as a graduate student and, in 1987, she received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California Berkeley, Cum Laude.

Spahr began exploring stone lithography in the early 1980s when she discovered an old Griffin press at the ASUC Studio on the UC campus. Her current studio, Lithium Press, is located in Orinda, California.  She began her career making lithographs printed from limestone but, in the 1990s, she printed collaged lithographs from stone onto Formica. Recently Spahr began creating unique works on large panels of Formica incorporating techniques from printmaking.

Her work has been featured in the books The Best in Printmaking. An International Collection by Lynne Allen and 60 Years of North American Prints. 1917-2007 by David Acton. Spahr has written a series of articles about the nature of printmaking and she published three books documenting her work.

Spahr has been awarded a Fulbright Grant, a Chancellor Fellowship at U.C. Berkeley, a Princess Beatrix Scholarship, and a Kala Institute Fellowship. She was an Artist in Residence at Kasterlee, Belgium; the Kala Institute; and the Frans Masereel Center, Kasterlee. Spahr is a member of the California Society of Printmakers and her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions. Solo exhibitions of her work have been mounted at the International Center for the Graphic Arts, Kasterlee, Belgium; the San Francisco Public Library; School for Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University; and the Moffitt Library, University of California Berkeley. A solo exhibition of her work, Herlinde Spahr. The Precipice Within, was held at the Monterey Museum of Art in June and July 2021.

Herlinde Spahr’s work is represented in the collections of the Royal Museum of Antwerp, Belgium; the Prentenkabinet at Antwerp and at Brussels; the Morrison Collection at the University of California Berkeley; the Janet Turner Print Museum, University of California at Chico; the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi; the Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California; the Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts; and the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.