Taj Diffenbaugh Worley

March 22–June 23, 2019

 “Visually, I am interested in pattern, connections and disjunctions, assonances and the relationship of line to form.”—Taj Diffenbaugh Worley '69


This installation showcases 10 works by printmaker Taj Diffenbaugh Worley (Monmouth, Illinois, 1947 – Seattle, Washington, 1987) on the occasion of the 50th reunion of the class of 1969.

Worley studied woodcut printmaking with Leonard Baskin while at Smith, and majored in philosophy and religion. According to her family, she “talked her way into” the printmaking MFA at the University of Indiana, where her husband Steven was enrolled in a graduate writing program. Worley studied with Marvin Lowe and Rudy Pozzi, and quickly expanded her printmaking repertoire to include etching, screenprinting and lithography. After graduation, she and her husband moved to Seattle, where she continued to print etchings in her basement studio and collaborated with other printmakers, including lithographer Dwight Coburn (who printed several of the works in this installation). She experienced early success with her work, which was featured in the 21st National Print Exhibition held at the Brooklyn Museum in 1978-79.

Worley’s imagery is based on a personal and intuitive abstraction of maps, mazes, gardens, and other natural forms. This is particularly legible in the work of the 1970s becoming more abstract in her multi-part works of the 1980s.

Worley’s life was tragically cut short by her death at age 39. SCMA is grateful to the Diffenbaugh and Worley families and Virginia Smith Harvey Dawson, class of 1972, whose gifts have allowed us to honor Taj Diffenbaugh Worley’s considerable creative talent.

This installation was supported by the Louise Walker Blaney, class of 1939, Fund for Exhibitions. 


Image:  Taj Diffenbaugh Worley (Monmouth, Illinois, 1947 – Seattle, Washington, 1987). Garden of Illusion. 1979. Soft- and hard-ground etching printed in one color on medium thick, flocked, green paper, color trial proof. Gift of the Diffenbaugh Family, and Flora and Sam Worley.