Sheila Eaton Isham

Sheila Isham (born 1927) is a painter and book artist whose work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, the Corcoran Gallery, the Albright Knox Art Gallery, the State Russian Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and many other museums and galleries. She married immediately after graduating, and she and her husband, a career diplomat, set out to his posting in Berlin. There, Isham enrolled in the Hochschule für Bildende Kunste, where she studied with Abstract Expressionists who had survived the Nazi era. During her husband's appointment in China, from 1962 to 1965, Isham studied Tang Dynasty calligraphy with a master. Upon her return to the United States she began experimenting with ways to combine the esthetic of the brush stroke with contemporary techniques and forms.

Further travel influenced her work as well: the Ishams lived in Russia, Vietnam, Haiti, and India, and each culture flavored her work. Besides painting on canvas, Isham has created portfolios of prints and a number of artist's books, an example of which is shown. A persistently exploratory artist, she is now working with collage in combination with monoprint and painting; the work Tantric Interplay LXIII is her recent gift to the College.

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