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To the Edge of the World V

by: Margot Lovejoy

Small 193554973 Margot Lovejoy

Margot R. Lovejoy


Margot was born in a small town in New Brunswick, Canada on October 21,1930. Seeking adventure and a first class art education, Margot left college in 1949, to attend the Beaux Arts in Paris, and then the St. Martin's School of Art in London. In 1953, she married physicist Derek Lovejoy, and the couple settled in Ottawa where they started a family. During these years, Margot worked as a freelance illustrator and at the National Film Board of Canada.

Derek's job with the UN took the family to Egypt and then to NYC in 1966 where Margot and he settled for the remainder of their lives. Having come of age in the conservative 1950's, Margot was a pioneering woman who insisted on both raising a family and having a professional career. Working out of a studio in the family basement, Margot developed a prolific body of fine art prints in the late 60's and 70's, while teaching at Pratt Institute and the Parsons School of Design. In 1978, she joined the faculty at SUNY Purchase, eventually becoming the first tenured female professor in the school's printmaking department.

In the 1980's she became fascinated with technology and its artistic implications, and began experimenting with a diverse range of electronic media (video, installation, and internet). Her early book, Postmodern Currents: Art and Artists in the Age of Electronic Media (1989) was visionary in its recognition of the transformational impact of electronic and digital technology on multiple mediums of art. The book (updated in 2004) was widely adopted as a university textbook.

From the 1960's onwards, Margot was involved with social justice activism, including the peace movement, feminism and community organizing (with the artist alliance JAM) to advance the arts in downtown Jamaica, NY. Informed by the politics of her day, her art has been described as "fusing social critique with poetic metaphor."

Margot's work has been widely exhibited, including at the 2002 Whitney Biennial, MoMA P.S. 1, Contemporary Art Center, and the Queens Museum of Art. Her pioneering website Parthenia (1995) is archived at the Walker Art Center. Among other honors, she was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Arts International Grant. Margot delighted in teaching, and was well-loved by her students. Her impact in this area was recognized in 2007, when she received the College Arts Association Distinguished Teaching Award.

Margot formally retired from academia in 1997. However, she remained active as an artist, teacher and writer (co-authoring her final book Context Providers in 2011) until she suffered a major stroke in 2012. Her husband Derek died four years later. Following a second stroke, Margot died at age 88 on August 1, 2019.

- From her obituary, published by New York Times from Aug. 5 to Aug. 6, 2019.

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