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UMGC Collection Artworks at Courthouse Exhibition

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UMGC President Gregory Fowler and Judge Peter Messitte of the Greenbelt Division of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland invite you to discover works by Washington Color School painter Paul Reed.

Painter and sculptor Paul Allen Reed (1919–2015) was best known for his contributions to the Washington, D.C., art community as one of the six founders of the Washington Color School. He was a prolific artist, producing hundreds of paintings and sculptures over the course of his career, which spanned more than 60 years. His art is in dozens of museums across the country, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, D.C.), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (California), and the Art Institute of Chicago (Illinois).

Reed’s early work in the 1950s was mostly in the abstract impressionist style with heavy brush strokes. He experimented with collage and began introducing words and letters in 1960. In the mid-1960s, he branched out into sculpture, larger painted pieces, and shaped canvases. Reed moved from his large studio to his home studio in 1974, and his work reflected the smaller space. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he began mixing photo negatives and prints to form geometric shapes. He explored working on muslin later in his career.

The works in this exhibition—donated to the UMGC Arts Program in 2016 by Reed’s daughter, Jean Roberts—illustrate how this legendary artist evolved and offer insight into his approach.

Exhibition Dates

Monday, June 6–Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Courthouse Hours

9 a.m.–4 p.m. daily


U.S. District Courthouse
6500 Cherrywood Lane
Greenbelt, Maryland

About Art at the Courthouse

Since its inception in 1996, the Art at the U.S. District Courthouse program has contributed greatly to our region’s cultural enrichment. The original purpose of the program was to feature works by Maryland artists, but over the years it has expanded to include international art. With exhibitions in quilting, photography, sculpture, and painting, the Art at the U.S. District Courthouse program continues to call attention to the diverse interests and creative talents of artists and the importance of their contributions to society.