Amy Namowitz Worthen Biography

Amy Namowitz Worthen





Printmaker, teacher, print historian and curator, Amy Namowitz Worthen (née Amy Namowitz) was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1946 and grew up in the Bronx. She attended art classes at the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Students League and the Brooklyn Museum. Namowitz was an art major at the High School of Music and Art in New York. She received her BA in Art in 1967 from Smith College where she studied printmaking with Leonard Baskin. While at Smith, she completed an internship at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and won the Stoeckel Fellowship which allowed her to attend the Yale University Summer School of Art in Norfolk, Connecticut. While studying printmaking with Mauricio Lasansky at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Namowitz met and married Thomas Fletcher Worthen. She earned her MA in printmaking from the University of Iowa in 1969. In 1986-87. she studied lettering-engraving for silversmiths at Sir John Cass College, City of London Polytech.

Based in Des Moines since 1970, she has worked as an artist, teacher, print historian, and curator. She has also spent many years living in Italy, as well as considerable time in England, France, Japan, Istanbul, and India. In 1989, she was a visiting artist at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica di Venezia. Repeated visits to the school triggered an ever-deepening involvement in Venice in her life and her art. She now owns homes in both Venice and Des Moines, and her burins and plates travel back and forth with her several times a year.

Worthen has had at least forty-three solo exhibitions in the US and abroad. She has participated in numerous group and invitational exhibitions nationally and internationally. Her work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; the Stanley Museum of Art, University of Iowa, Iowa City; the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.

Worthen is curator emeritus of prints at the Des Moines Art Center, and has also been a guest curator for exhibitions in the US and abroad. A specialist in the history and techniques of engraving, with particular interest in Northern mannerist engraving as well as twentieth-century and contemporary American and European printmaking, she has written numerous catalogues and articles, and has lectured widely. Worthen is a member of the Print Council of America, and serves on the Visiting Committee of the Smith College Museum of Art.