Columbus Museum of Art

Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson: Ongoing Catalogue of Art and Exhibitions

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Curator’s comments

Thorne Alley is what Market Street was called before the Blackberry Patch community was torn down in 1935 to build Poindexter Village, Columbus' first Metropolitan Housing Development. Aminah's Uncle Alvin grew up on Thorne Alley in the Blackberry Patch and he handed down to his niece the stories that are in both Doll House Story volumes.

The forty woodcuts in Volume I and the twenty in Volume II were printed in New York by Kelly Driscoll, a printmaker Robinson met at the Printmaking Workshop during her residency at PS 1 in 1989. Raphael Fodde, whose family made books in Italy for generations, provided the typesetting for both volumes and the binding and design for Volume II. Robinson made both volumes specifically for her 2002-2003 exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art.

The Spiritual Healing is the title page of Aminah's 2001 limited-edition book Doll House Story Vol. II, based on her Uncle Alvin tales. The title page of the story is a bold and eloquent black-and-white woodcut print showing two figures in a profile, barely edging in from the sides, engaged in some mysterious ritual involving a fierce-looking bird that is being held upside down. On another level the woodcut illustrates the story Uncle Alvin saw when he was a child. He saw his friend, who was touched by the spirit and later became a minister, draw the pain and illness right out of his grandmother's soul. The spiritual force being symbolized by the bird/alligator lives in both air and water and makes no sound (as spirits do not).

Artist’s comments

In this book his stories are in a very pure state in exactly the way he gave them to me-- very simple, very plain, and very moral -stories to pass on. One of the stories is about this man who had to cross the river with a fox, a chicken, and some eggs. The moral of the story is there's always a way to think and figure something out even when there are many obstacles in the way.

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