In 1970 when I was very young and finding my way in the world, I took a job at the United Nations folk art center doing displays. My boss was a woman named June Henneberger. She was very passionate and knowledgeable about folk art and traditional crafts, and she wanted me to understand the things I was handling and appreciate their history. So, she lent me her books each week to prepare for my work. At the time I was completing my studies in art and art history toward my second degree, a BFA, and this extraordinary education complimented that and broadened my view of art. But the more profound education June gave me was by her example, and through her friendship. She taught me that I could live an independent life, one which was focused on work and what I believed in. My aspirations didn’t have to only be channeled through others, through a man, through a family. She encouraged me to believe that I could live out my own dream, and that it could be a good life.
Sculptor Judith Shea talks about her exhibition “Her Own Style” at the National Academy Museum and the women artists’ self-portraits in it on NYC-ARTS.
Judith Shea photo by Shea Studio 2013.