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Robert Schultz’s art media include chlorophyll prints, scanned compositions, and handmade artist’s books that combine letterpress text and leafprints.

He has spoken by invitation at the National Gallery of Art, Oxford University, at colleges and universities across the U.S., and at book festivals and other venues. For over a decade he has collaborated with the photographer Binh Danh, producing two art exhibitions and publishing two books, most recently War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Memorials. War Memoranda was the subject of illustrated features on the photography sites, Lenscratch and LensCulture. Schultz’s art has been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries and has been recognized with juror’s awards for individual works and portfolios. His artwork is held by the Library of Congress, the University of Virginia special collections library, and by private collectors in the U.S. and abroad. He is represented by Deborah McLeod’s Chroma Projects, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Artist’s Statement

For most of my professional life I have been chiefly a writer. Over the past ten years, however, I have returned to an early devotion to art. I have been doing traditional photography, cameraless photography (chlorophyll prints, scanography), letterpress printing, and am combining media in hand-made artist’s books. My collaboration with Binh Danh, who taught me his chlorophyll print process, has been an influence. And my writing and reading life has influenced my art decisively, especially my deep involvement with poet Walt Whitman and the American Transcendentalists for whom knowledge starts in the contemplation of nature. My chlorophyll prints, and especially the portraits, enact Whitman’s central trope of leaves: death falls into the ground and life rises, renewed, from it. And my specimen scans seek to acknowledge both beauty and terror, capturing ephemeral beauty against a deep black background.

Specimens of the Plague Year

For one year during the covid-19 pandemic lockdown, Robert Schultz made notes and art in a daily practice of reflection and observation. To accompany his wide-ranging entries, he browsed his wife’s gardens, bringing in small, local beauties to photograph. Things blooming and failing in their seasons mark our collective progress through a year of beauty…
  • 2022

Against the Dark

Robert Schultz received the “Art Search” prize conducted by Streetlight Magazine and Chroma Projects gallery for his Against the Dark project. Streetlight ran an illustrated feature and the Against the Dark exhibition was mounted in the Chroma Projects “Vault” gallery in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia in February 2022.

Memorial Leaves

Our time echoes poet Walt Whitman’s 1860s in frightening ways, but he shows a way forward. His central trope of nature’s cycles speaks symbolically of renewals soulful, social, and political. In Memorial Leaves my chlorophyll prints perform little resurrections, confronting us with the cost of war, face by face, and the exhibition offers itself as…
  • Athenaeum Gallery
  • 2021

War Memoranda, the book

War Memoranda: Photography, Walt Whitman, and Memorials by Binh Danh and Robert Schultz has been published by the Taubman Museum of Art to mark the 200th anniversary of Whitman’s birth and to bring the poet’s humane example to our moment’s controversies over war, memory, and reconciliation.
  • Taubman Museum of Art
  • 2019

War Memoranda

War Memoranda, a word and image exhibition featuring original photography, poetry, leafprints, and artist’s books by Binh Danh and Robert Schultz, draws upon the war poems and prose of Walt Whitman and upon the Liljenquist Collection of Civil War portraits held in the Library of Congress.