Woodcut on Paper

Helen Thrush


Helen Thrush first met Gregory Ivy when they were students together at Columbia University in New York City in the early 1930s. When Ivy became head of the Department of Art at Woman’s College in 1935, he actively sought to recruit Helen. She joined the faculty in 1938.

Like Ivy, Helen Thrush believed in teaching the value of experimentation and innovation. For her, it was the process of making art that mattered most. It was important to always be thinking creatively. Every so often, when her artwork began to stack up in her studio or at home, she simply threw it all away. The idea of building a career or promoting herself in galleries held no interest for her. As a result, very few works remain in existence.

The Thrush prints held in the Weaver Collection, were generous gifts from the collection of Anne Wall Thomas. Ms. Thomas felt that Thrush’s work “deserved to be in a collection where they and Helen would receive the respect they were due.” Her late husband, Howard Thomas, served as the acting head of the Department of Art at Woman’s College for the 1942-43 academic year during Ivy’s one-year leave of absence to serve in the military. Works by Anne Wall Thomas and Howard Thomas are also included in the Weaver Collection.