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Artist Mel Edwards creates Vision and Purpose, I, II, III, and IV

The first print in HSP’s inaugural artist-in-residency program is now available for purchase.

Mel Edwards, known for large abstract steel metal sculptures, worked with Raven Fine Art Editions founder Curlee Holton and printmaker Jase Clark to produce Vision and Purpose, a serigraph. Raven has produced 60 prints in four editions, each with different coloring.

Edwards’ residency at the Historical Society involved exploring many collections. He found the photographs of Father Divine (1877-1965) to be particularly compelling. This religious leader and founder of the International Peace Mission attracted many followers in the mid-20th century with his preaching centered on racial equality, communal ownership and shared well being, and his divine status. In Philadelphia, the International Peace Mission purchased and opened the Divine Lorraine Hotel, the first interracial hotel in 1945.

In conversation with Curlee Holton, Mel Edwards will discuss why he sought to use the photographs of Father Divine as the basis for his work Vision and Purpose on September 27.

Register here.

Edwards is a celebrated abstract steel metal sculptor based in Baltimore, Maryland, and upstate New York. His work has been the subject of over a dozen one-person exhibits and has been included in over 50 group shows. Characterized by the use of straight-edged triangular and rectilinear forms, his art often has a political context. His work is featured in many prominent museum collections nationally and internationally.

“This type of collaboration between an institution such as HSP, that houses and protects our most important historical documents that record the American experience and its profound narratives of hope, freedom and possibilities,” said Raven Fine Arts Edition founder and HSP Councilor Curlee R. Holton. "These experiences and possibilities are given new meaning and relevance in today's world by the talent and unique voice of these participating artists."

Vision and Purpose I, II, III & IV is now available for purchase at the pre-publication price of $1500 (plus shipping) until October 1, 2023. Following that, the price will increase to $2500. All four editions can be purchased for $5000. All print sales support the mission of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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