Worden Day Biography

Worden Day




Worden Day, painter, printmaker, sculptor, and teacher, was born Esther Worden Day in Columbus, Ohio on 11 June 1912. Day earned her B.A. from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in 1934. After graduation, she taught for a decade in Virginia at the Richmond Professional Institute where she taught Nell Blaine. Day then moved to New York City where she studied with George Grosz, Jean Charlot and Hans Hofmann, and attended the New School of Social Research, the Florence Crane School, and the Art Students’ League, studying with artists Maurice Sterne and Emilio Amero. In 1943 she worked at Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17 in New York, where she met, among others, Anne Ryan and Sue Fuller, both of whom were working with experimental methods in woodcut and intaglio. Day received her M.A. degree in 1966 from New York University at the age of fifty-four.

Day also taught at the University of Wyoming at Laramie (1949), the Pratt Institute (1955-6), the New School of Social Research (1961-66), and the Art Students' League (1966-70). In the late 1960s, she began working primarily with sculpture and a solo exhibition was held at the Sculpture Center in New York in 1972. She was honored with J. Rosenwald Awards and Guggenheim fellowships in 1952 and 1961, and she received McDowell fellowships in 1940, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1963, and 1981.

Her work is represented in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; the Library of Congress, and the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.;  and the Worcester Art Museum.

Worden Day died on 27 January 1986 in Montclair, New Jersey, shortly before a retrospective was due to open at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.