Skip to Page Level Navigation Skip to Page Content Skip to Contact Information
Jean Lodge
Jean Lodge (Miami '63) with one of her favorite works, "Ophelia Lives." Many of her images are of women, who she believes are often misrepresented.

The Art of Discovery

“Asking an artist to talk about his work is like asking a plant to discuss horticulture.”

Parisian artist Jean Lodge agrees with this sentiment by French poet-painter Jean Cocteau. Not only can’t she describe her own prints, paintings and drawings, if she could, she says, she wouldn’t need to create them.

Exploring art

“It’s the same thing about exploring, about going into the unknown. If you know where you’re going, there’s no point in going there, you see,” says Lodge, who graduated from Miami in 1963 with a degree in English literature. “You try to set up situations that take you somewhere you haven’t been, and then you can discover something.”

Lodge knows a thing or two about exploring.

The Dayton native has called Paris home for decades, traveling extensively between the French capital and England’s University of Oxford, where she became head of printmaking at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in 1978.

Jean Lodge, an early self portrait

An early portrait.

She hasn’t lived in the states since she graduated from college. First, she studied in Oxford, England, and later in Salzburg, Austria. Then she worked in Paris, Greece, Spain, and later Japan, where she was inspired to return to woodcut prints, a technique she studied at Miami.

“One thing sort of led to another. I didn’t count the years,” she says, giving a little shrug.

Nonlinear views

At age 18, Lodge entered college intending to become a writer, which, as it turned out, became a good foundation for her art. Even now she sees little difference between the two forms of expression.

She fondly recalls several top teachers, particularly painting and drawing professor Philip Morsberger, but her favorite was English professor Spiro Peterson, who encouraged her to look at literature, and life, in nonlinear ways.

“I learned probably more from him that has helped me through all my work. Such as overlay. I was working with him on the beginnings of a novel as a literary form. It wasn’t a linear thing, it wasn’t something where you started at A and went through to Z.”

Bits of her beginnings
Jean Lodge with Deborah Hawley

Jean Lodge with longtime friend Deborah Hawley, who made the exhibition at the Miami University Art Museum possible.

Because of generous gifts to the Miami University Art Museum from her longtime friend and former Oxford (Ohio) resident Deborah Hawley, approximately 40 of Lodge’s works opened as the exhibit “Jean Lodge: Prints, Paintings and Drawings” in the art museum May 31. The show, ending June 29, features many of her early works.

On campus with Hawley the day before the opening, Lodge leafed through more than 160 of her pieces.

“A lot of it is work that I haven’t seen for 40 or 50 years, and so I’m seeing bits of my own beginning. It was very moving just now to see all those pictures.”

Hawley, who lives in Austin, Texas, has donated these to the museum in honor of her late parents, who collected the pieces over decades. Lodge met Hawley’s father, William, while she was a student at Miami and he was chaplain at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church for students at Miami and Western College for Women. She got to know him and his family much better when they were in England on sabbatical during her first year as a graduate student at Oxford.

Take risks

Sitting among her paintings and prints in Miami’s art museum, she sprinkles French phrases throughout her conversation. Her accent also becomes distinctly British at times too.

“It’s important for me to be in different places and see different points of view. Not just as a student. It was important to get out and do it then, but it still is. It’s important to not have just one perspective.”

As for today’s students considering a similar path, Lodge, who still maintains her printmaking studio in Paris, advises that they do what they really want and not worry about whether it will result in fame and fortune.

“And it’s not easy to find out what you want to do,” she says. “You don’t know that until you’ve tried, until you’ve failed sometimes. Risk. You go through lots and lots of experiments, and then something comes together.”

 Written by Donna Boen, University Communications and Marketing. Photos by Scott Kissell, University photographer

Published June 2013

Skip to Page Content
St. Maximin, 1972, ink on paper

St. Maximin, 1972, ink on paper

Ophelia Lives, 1995, woodcut on paper.

Ophelia Lives, 1995, woodcut on paper.

Male study, 1964, oil on canvas.

Male study, 1964, oil on canvas.

Figure in striped shirt in courtyard, 1964, woodcut on paper.

Figure in striped shirt in courtyard, 1964, woodcut on paper.

West Chester
  • Luxembourg

    John E. Dolibois European Center, Luxembourg

    One of Miami's oldest continuous study abroad programs, the Miami University John E. Dolibois Center (MUDEC) in Luxembourg offers students the opportunity to enroll in Miami classes taught by European-based and Ohio-based Miami faculty. Students enjoy a unique combination of first-class academics, engagement in the local community, and various faculty-guided and independent travel opportunities.

    Château de Differdange
    1, Impasse du Château
    L-4524 Differdange
    Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

    217-222 MacMillan Hall
    501 E. Spring Street
    Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA


    Main Operator: 011-352-582222-1
    Oxford-based Coordinator: 513-529-8600
    Emergency info:

  • West Chester
    West Chester

    Voice of America Learning Center

    Located midway between Cincinnati and Dayton along I-75, the Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses and programs drawn from Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses. Home to Miami's MBA program, the Learning Center provides ready access to graduate programs for area educators and courses leading to the BIS degree for undergraduates.

    7847 VOA Park Dr.
    (Corner of VOA Park Dr. and Cox Rd.)
    West Chester, OH 45069

    Main Operator: 513-895-8862
    (From Middletown) 513-217-8862
    Emergency info:

  • Middletown

    Middletown Regional Campus

    Nestled on 141 acres near I-75, Miami University Middletown offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Nearby Greentree Health Science Academy immerses Miami's nursing and health information technology students in the health care experience while taking classes.

    4200 N. University Blvd.
    Middletown, OH 45042

    Main Operator: 513-727-3200
    (Toll-free) 1-86-MIAMI-MID
    Office of Admission: 513-727-3216
    Campus Status Line: 513-727-3477
    Emergency info:

  • Hamilton

    Hamilton Regional Campus

    A compact, friendly, commuter campus, Miami Hamilton offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Small class sizes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling make Miami Hamilton attractive to students at all stages of life and career.

    1601 University Blvd.
    Hamilton, OH 45011

    Main Operator: 513-785-3000
    Office of Admission: 513-785-3111
    Campus Status Line: 513-785-3077
    Emergency info:

  • Oxford

    Miami University, Oxford Ohio

    Nationally recognized as one of the most outstanding undergraduate institutions, Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. With a student body of 16,000, Miami effectively combines a wide range of strong academic programs with faculty who love to teach and the personal attention ordinarily found only at much smaller institutions.

    501 E. High St.
    Oxford, OH 45056

    Main Operator: 513-529-1809
    Office of Admission: 513-529-2531
    Vine Hotline: 513-529-6400
    Emergency info: