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The MIAMI Portfolio: past + present = future

           The MIAMI Portfolio: past + present = future is a collection of 15 prints that were commissioned by Professor Ellen Price through the Department of Art during the fall and winter of 2009 and printed during the spring and summer of 2010. A total of 30 portfolios were hand-printed. Each of the prints was designed by either a current Miami professor or professor emeritus, a link which helps provide an explanation for the title of the portfolio. The faculty that were current professors include Andy Au, Joomi Chang, Larry Winston Collins, Susan Ewing, Tracy Featherstone, Edward Montgomery (no longer at Miami), Dana Saulnier, Roscoe Wilson, and Ellen Price; the professors emeriti include Lon Beck, Joseph Cox, Crossan Curry, Jim Killy, Jerry Morris, and Robert Wolfe Jr.[1]

            Professor Price began the project due to the inspiration of a dean at the time, whom she named as instrumental in the realization of the project. The initial funding for the portfolio came from Sandra Gross and Walter Gross III, alumni of Miami who agreed to purchase two of the portfolios prior to their creation. The works were entirely donated to the Department of Art, as were all profits, to fund the Studio Faculty Scholarship which is given to an incoming freshman studio art student every year. Professor Price heavily credited the success of the project to the artists involved, particularly those who printed their own works, as well as graduate students Jeanne Luthi and Brian Albert Webb who aided her in printing over half of the nearly 500 prints and related documents.[2]

            Of the 30 portfolios printed, the Miami University Art Museum owns one, a copy of which is displayed in Benton Hall outside the College of Engineering and Computing office. There is another in King Library, one in a conference room of the College of Creative Arts, and a few owned by professors including Professor Price herself. The Dean of Farmer School of Business at the time, Roger Jenkins, purchased five of the portfolios as gifts for the highest tier of donors to the school, to display the work being done in other parts of Miami. Interestingly, there is still one portfolio left to sell, which Professor Price says she is waiting to offer to President Crawford after he has spent more time as president of Miami.[2]

            As for the works within the portfolio, each artist was given free reign over what they wanted to create, so long as it fit on the paper they were given. This resulted in a huge variety of themes and mediums, including intaglios, woodcuts, lithographs, etchings, and an embossment. The only one of the works that has been exhibited apart from the portfolio is Lon Beck’s work Portal III, which was displayed as a part of the “Pure Abstraction” exhibit at the Miami University Art Museum from late August to early December of 2013.[3] Each of the works has a unique style, however, and the portfolio as a whole is guaranteed to keep the viewer interested anytime they see it around campus.



[1] “Miami Portfolio." Miami University Art Museum. Accessed April 02, 2018. http://miamioh.edu/cca/art-museum/collections/miami-portfolio/index.html.

[2] Price, Ellen. "Professor Ellen Price on the MIAMI Portfolio." Interview by author. April 6, 2018.

[3] Miami University. Department of Art. "Art Faculty Create Art Works for Scholarship Project." News release. Accessed April 2, 2018.