The Old Print Shop

Karen Whitman

b. 1953

Karen Whitman was born in New York City and currently lives in Woodstock, NY. She has a BFA from SUNY at Buffalo and also studied at The School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design, Woodstock School of Art, and The Art Students League. She is a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists and Allied Artists of America.  Whitman's prints express an exuberance and playfulness of urban life. The chief source of her inspiration is New York City-its architecture, people, and all the other creatures that inhabit this teeming metropolis. She is a master printmaker working primarily in relief.  

Whitman has won numerous national awards including, Medals of Honor for Graphics, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club; Gold Medals of Honor for Graphics, Audubon Artists; Gold Medal of Honor for Graphics, Allied Artists of America; Medals of Honor for Graphics, The National Association of Women Artists; and the Rembrandt Graphic Arts Printmaking Award, Hunterdon Museum, Clinton, NJ.   

Whitman’s work in the collections of The British Museum, London, UK; New York Public Library, New York, NY; Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ; The New-York Historical Society, New York, NY; The Museum of the City of New York, NY.  She is listed in Who's Who in American Art

“I sketch on location, creating drawings which will become either black and white or multi-colored images and print them myself. My subjects explore the vibrant life of the city with its dense and diverse architecture. People interact with their complex environments to create a world and tell a story, as I weave their energetic elements with contrasting patterns and textures. The eye is led from one vignette to another, each telling its own tale of the urban experience. In so doing, I aim to portray the city as positive, accessible, and beautiful, even playful; and yet, inadvertently, I seem to convey a sense of mystery which at times makes it a challenge to differentiate between whimsy and foreboding. The city is all of these things at once, which is why it inspires me and is the primary subject of my work.”