National Museum of Women in the Arts
June Wayne
March 07 1918 - present
Photograph of June Wayne, by Kenna Love, courtesy of June Wayne Studio, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Place of Birth:
Phonetic Spelling:
joon wayn
Minority status:
White non-Hispanic
Work Type/Media:
Books and manuscripts, Decorative and utilitarian works, Drawings and prints, Multimedia (electronic, digital, video, film), Painting, Textiles and clothing
Artistic Role(s):
Book Artist, Designer, Filmmaker, Jewelry Maker, Lithographer, Oil Painter, Painter, Self-taught Artist, Tapestry Designer, Tapestry Maker, Watercolorist
Feminist Art, Other
Artist's Biography:
Born in Chicago, Illinois, contemporary artist June Wayne attended school until age fifteen, when she dropped out to pursue autodidactic studies in the arts and sciences at her local library. Always a multifaceted student, she expressed herself in many different modes including oil painting, watercolor, jewelry design, and radio scriptwriting before beginning to work in lithography, the medium with which she has become most strongly associated.

Wayne’s early experiments in printmaking revealed to her the technical limitations of printers in the United States. And so, in 1958, inspired by a lithograph pulled by Parisian Marcel Durassier, she traveled to Europe where she produced one of her most important series of prints, John Donne: Song and Sonnets. Intent upon reversing the declining practice of American hand lithography, she moved to Los Angeles and, in 1959, founded the Tamarind Lithography Workshop with funding from the Ford Foundation. Although the works of artists and master printers at Tamarind succeeded in revitalizing and revolutionizing the art of printmaking, Wayne had to put her own artistic career on hold to attend to the administrative needs of the workshop; for ten years she withheld her art from the public market, instead choosing to promote the works of other Tamarind artists. In 1970, she moved the workshop to the University of New Mexico, giving her the freedom to once again pursue her career as an artist.

Wayne’s work is inspired by what she views as a molecular continuum of human beings and nature. Informed by her lifelong fascination with the sciences, her aesthetic choices are often based on the technical details of subjects such as the genetic code, optics, and astrophysics. Translating scientific concepts into a visually communicable and artistic form has led her to make significant innovations in lithographic technique, including the use of sprayed lithographic ink, fine grained sand, and other natural debris. The resulting prints are composed of dark specks, points of light, delicate lines or other tiny modular forms that unite figures with their surroundings, and suggest that both are constructed from the same basic elements.

Other Occupation(s):
Activist, Author, Essayist, Feminist, Founder, Teacher, Writer
Place(s) of Residence:
Los Angeles
Where Trained/Schools:
Related Visual Artists:
colleague of Julio de Diego colleague of Michell Siporin colleague of Edward Millman colleague of Sidney Loeb colleague of Gertrude Abercrombie colleague of Margo Hoff influenced by Marcel Durassier
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Zimmerli Lifetime Achievement Award, Committee on Women in the Arts, College Art Association, New York, NY, USA (2003) Living Legacy Award, Women's International Center, San Diego, CA, USA (1989) Woman of the Year, Monotorious Achievement in Modern Art, Los Angeles Times, Tribune Company, Los Angeles, CA, USA (1952)
Earliest exhibition:
June Claire, Boulevard Gallery, Chicago, IL, USA (1935)
NMWA exhibition(s):
Generation of Mentors
Partners in Printmaking: Works from SOLO Impression
Preserving the Past, Securing the Future: Donations of Art, 1987-1997
June Wayne: The Dorothy Series
Book as Art VI
Artist retrospective(s):
June Wayne: A Retrospective, Neuberger Museum, Purchase, NY, USA (1997-1999) (traveling exhibition) June Wayne: Tapestries, Paintings, Lithographs, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA (1973) Lithographs by June Wayne: A Retrospective, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH, USA (1969)