Rose B. Simpson sculptures at Princeton University Art Museum

A selection of sculptural figures by the mixed-media artist Rose B. Simpson (Santa Clara Pueblo) invites visitors to reflect on the fundamental aspects of being human. Witness / Rose B. Simpson sculptures will be on view July 23 through September 11, 2022 at the Princeton University Art Museum’s Art@Bainbridge gallery.

“Simpson’s materially and texturally rich sculptures invite us into dialogue, seeking an empathetic response that can pull us out of ourselves,” James Steward, Nancy A. Nasher–David J. Haemisegger, Class of 1976, Director, said. “They look back at us, demanding introspection and acknowledgment of our actions.”

Rose B. Simpson sculptures interrogate the human condition as an accumulation of lived experiences, distilling specific aspects of such moments in her own life into each sculpture. Through her work, Simpson seeks the tools to heal the damages she has experienced as a human being—issues such as objectification, stereotyping and the disempowering detachment of our creative selves through modern technology.

Simpson holds a master of fine arts in ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design and a master of fine arts in creative nonfiction from the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe. She is based in Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico.

The exhibition is curated by Bryan R. Just, the Princeton University Art Museum’s Peter Jay Sharp, Class of 1952, curator and lecturer in the art of the ancient Americas.

“When viewing my work, I want visitors to find parts of themselves that may not be easily accessed or that our common culture has not fostered in them,” Simpson said . “I want them to release their stereotypes and their judgments and begin to see their objectification so that they can start to access with a different emotional lens.”

Rose B. Simpson sculptures will be exhibited at Art@Bainbridge, in what was a home built in 1766, during the early American colonial period.

“I want my works to go into the hardest of places; they’re intended to infiltrate,” Simpson said. “And those pieces are watching the viewers. Witnessing happens both ways. Viewers might be looking at the sculpture, but that work is also watching them. That’s very intentional.”

On August 11, the Museum will host a moderated discussion related to a short reading that explores themes developed in Witness / Rose B. Simpson related to Indigenous storytelling. The session, led by Curator of Academic Programs Janna Israel, will include a viewing of the exhibition. Space is limited and reservations are required.

Rose B. Simpson (Tewa Pueblo, born 1983, Santa Clara Pueblo, NM; active Santa Clara Pueblo), Tusked I, 2019. Ceramic, leather and beads; 97.8 × 35.6 × 24.1 cm. Collection of Steve Corkin and Dan Maddalena. © Rose B. Simpson / courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman, San Francisco / photo: John Wilson White.
Rose B. Simpson (Tewa Pueblo, born 1983, Santa Clara Pueblo, NM; active Santa Clara Pueblo), Tusked I, 2019. Ceramic, leather and beads; 97.8 × 35.6 × 24.1 cm. Collection of Steve Corkin and Dan Maddalena. © Rose B. Simpson / courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman, San Francisco / photo: John Wilson White.

About the Princeton University Art Museum

With a collecting history that extends back to 1755, the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the leading university art museums in the country, with collections that have grown to include more than 113,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary art and spanning the globe. Committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions, the Art Museum also serves as a gateway to the University for visitors from around the world.

The main Museum building is currently closed for the construction of a bold and welcoming new building, designed by Sir David Adjaye and slated to open in late 2024.

Art@Bainbridge is located in downtown Princeton at 158 Nassau Street. Art@Bainbridge hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Art on Hulfish, the Museum’s photo-focused gallery located at 11 Hulfish Street in Palmer Square, also in downtown Princeton, is open daily. Admission to both galleries is free.

Please visit the Museum’s website for digital access to the collections, a diverse portfolio of programs and details on visiting our downtown galleries. The Museum Store in Palmer Square, located at 56 Nassau Street in downtown Princeton, is open daily, or shop online at princetonmuseumstore.org

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