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 Mary McChesney Fuller  (1922 - )

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Lived/Active: California/Kansas      Known for: ceramic and cement sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Mary McChesney Fuller was born on October 20, 1922 in Wichita, Kansas.  She moved to California in 1924, and studied at the University of California, Berkeley.  She worked as a welder in the shipyards and apprenticed in ceramics at the California Faience Company in Berkeley.  She was largely self-taught as an artist. 

Fuller cast giant totems and goddesses out of a mixture of vermiculite, sand, cement and water which she carved with a knife and rasp.  She also authored three novels (under the pseudonym Joe Rayter), numerous short stories, poems and articles, and worked on the Archives of American Art’s oral history project documenting the WPA
art project in California.

In 1973 she organized an exhibition and catalog for a show at the Oakland Museum, “Period of Exploration: 1945-1950” about the art scene in the Bay Area immediately after World War II.  In the 1980s she began working with cement sculpture as her medium.  In 1994 she was interviewed by Susan Landauer and the interview is part of the Archives of American Art.

Exhibitions: Artists' Guild Gallery, San Francisco, 1947; Lucien Labaudt Gallery, San Francisco, 1950; John Bolles Gallery, San Francisco, 1961; Ota Gallery (now Kroeber Prints), San Francisco, 1972; Santa Rosa City Hall, California, 1974. Her public commissions include: Univ. of California Medical Center, San Francisco, 1974; Community Center, Salinas, California, 1976; Andrew Hill High School, San Jose, California, 1977; Department of Motor Vehicles, Yuba City,
California, 1978; and the San Francisco West Side Pump Station, 1979.

Awards: Pacific Coast Ceramic Annual, 1947, 1949; San Francisco Art Festival, 1971; Art Critic Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts, 1975.

Collections: San Francisco General Hospital; Univ. of California, San Francisco Medical Center; Santa Cruz (CA) Dept. of Parks; Caltrans; Recreation & Parks, Salinas, CA; San Francisco Arts Commission.
Susan Craig, "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945)"
Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1936-1976; Art Inventories Cat.; Pamphlet file at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library in Washington, DC.

This and over 1,750 other biographies can be found in Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) compiled by Susan V. Craig, Art & Architecture Librarian at University of Kansas.

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