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Lewandowski Exhibition Curator to Speak on Artist's Work Nov. 18

Quick Facts

 Leeds, guest curator of "Edmund Lewandowski – Precisionism and Beyond," will give a free public talk on the artist on Nov. 18.
 The New Jersey resident works as adjunct curator of American art at the Flint Institute of Arts and as an independent scholar/curator.

Valerie Leeds

ROCK HILL, S.C. - Valerie Leeds, guest curator of Winthrop University Galleries' "Edmund Lewandowski – Precisionism and Beyond" exhibition, will discuss the late Lewandowi's artistic career in a gallery talk on Nov. 18. 

Leeds will deliver her free public talk, “Art and Industry: The Career of Edmund Lewandowski,” at 8 p.m. in Rutledge Gallery. She works as adjunct curator of American art for the Flint Institute of Arts in Flint, Mich., which organized this first-ever exhibition on Lewandowski's accomplished career as a muralist and painter who embraced Precisionism, an American painting style that depicted industrial scenes and architectural motifs, void of human figures as subjects, in a near-abstract manner. Leeds will explore Lewandowski's designation as "the Last Precisionist" and his focus on the industrialized world in his work.

"Widely acknowledged as the preeminent second-generation Precisionist, Lewandowski celebrates the industrialized Midwest in his art," Leeds noted. "He felt an affinity to the Precisionists, artists who were responsible for elevating industrial subject matter and asserting it as emblematic of the modern world."

Leeds worked previously as curator of American art at the Orlando Museum of Art in Orlando, Fla., and the Tampa Museum of Art in Tampa, Fla., She earned her B.A. in art history at the University of Rochester in New York, her M.A. in art history (with a focus on 19th-century European art) at Syracuse University and her Ph.D. in art history at the City University of New York.

"Edmund Lewandowski – Precisionism and Beyond" explores the work of Lewandowski, an acclaimed muralist and a standout in the Precisionist movement. Raised in the industrial environment of Milwaukee, Wis., Lewandowski's surroundings impacted his artistic development profoundly. Later in his life, from 1973-84, he was chair of Winthrop’s Department of Art and Design and became an important artist, activist and mentor in Rock Hill.

The exhibition will continue through Dec. 9. Winthrop University Galleries will offer special weekend hours during the retrospective, with "Precisionism and Beyond" available for viewing noon-4 p.m. on Nov. 13-14. Regular gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and galleries will be closed Nov. 25-26.

The Nov. 18 talk is an approved cultural event for students. The Lewandowski exhibition has been made possible in part by Williams and Fudge, Inc., Rock Hill and other donors.

For more information about the talk or "Edmund Lewandowski – Precisionism and Beyond," contact Karen Derksen, gallery director, at 803/323-2493 or

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