Local painter honored by her alma mater

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Judith Godwin, a native of Suffolk and a prominent painter whose works are in many major museums around the world, has received an honorary degree from Mary Baldwin College, where her training in art led to a remarkable career.

In fact, one of her paintings, &uot;Oriental Circus,&uot; a 50-inch by 126-inch oil on canvas triptych was Godwin’s gift Mary Baldwin College, where it hangs in Deming Hall.

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George Graves of the office of college relations said Godwin’s bold, vivid paintings have been praised by collectors for almost half a century. Among museums exhibiting her works are the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan.

Godwin entered Mary Baldwin College with the class of 1952. She studied there with the noted artists and instructors Elizabeth Nottingham Day and Horace Day prior to pursuing her growing interest in painting. She earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, and then went to New York.

&uot;New York had become an international center for artists, particularly those who, like Hans Hofmann and Franz Kline,&uot; said Graves. &uot;Those artists stressed originality and became known as abstract expressionists, or more specifically, the New York School. Ms. Godwin joined them, adding her emerging influence.&uot;

A former trustee at Mary Baldwin College, Godwin has also shown her paintings at the college and consulted with the college on its permanent collection.