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 Mary Beich  (1917 - 2002)

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Lived/Active: California/Arizona/Illinois      Known for: impressionist child figure and portrait painting

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Mary Beich McCarty is primarily known as Mary Beich

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Blue Stripes, 26" x 25"
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Mary Beich McCarthy (or McCarty). 

I  met her in the seventies and stayed at her home in Scottsdale, Arizona on Lincoln Blvd, just east of Scottsdale Road.  I have a picture of the bedroom she had us sleep in, a picture of one of her paintings, and a picture of the breakfast she prepared for us, the first morning we were there and why?  Because she had exquisite taste and everything about Mary was a work of art..  

I met her through my former mother in law, Beatrice (Mrs. Harold) Hoag, whom I would consider one of her best friends.  

Mary was the widow of ( McCarty or McCarthy), who was a former lawyer of Howard Hughes.  I recall that Mary escaped to her Scottsdale place to get away from the numerous people who were invading her Sunset Blvd home, looking through boxes and records in the basement, for a copy of a Howard Hughes' will.  I think she said that her husband had many of his records in their basement.  Mary let these gentlemen stay there while she was in Scottsdale, so they could continue their hunt.

She was anxious for them to finish their work and give her back her peace.

We visited her Sunset Blvd home, sometime in the 70's and of course, it was like a motion picture setting, the magnificent staircase, gardens, and all.

Mary was afraid of flying so if my memory serves me, she missed her Paris exhibition on June 28, 1979, and others as well, if they required airline travel.  We did receive an eight page, very well done brochure of her "Exposition 29Juin-21Juillet 1979" and a note on an invitation by Wally Findlay Galleries - International, from her, exclaiming, "Hi darlings!  The show opened to good reviews and sales Hurray!, Love to you all, Mary"

Mary loved diet sodas and drank them incessantly.  I heard my mother-in-law express concern about her intake of those sodas.

She was a sweet woman, funny, and pretty.  She was unassuming and modest about her artwork.  I have a picture of her and my beautiful mother-in-law, dressed to the nines, toasting the New Year in front of the fireplace, at the home of Charles and Mary Jane Wick (he was former head of Voice of America, appointed by President Reagan).  When the Wick's were on a trip, I believe they had my mother-in-law watch the home and we were invited to spend a few days there.  Mary joined us for the holidays and was dressed in a beautiful black evening gown.  Though up in age, both women were beauties, had impeccable manners but wit, style, and a great sense of humor!  The four of us laughed constantly.

After my husband and I divorced, we lost touch with Mary but would love to know if she is still around and where.  She fostered my love of Impressionism and she told me on one occasion, that she didn't study art, that she had a talent at an early age.  If memory serves me, she indicated that she didn't think talent could be "taught", you either had it or you didn't.

As a result of seeing her work, I found myself on countless trips to England, France, Germany, and the other European countries; I scoured the  museums, trying to find art comparable to Mary's. She had been compared to Mary Cassatt, so I quickly made my way to any museums with Cassatt's work but have to say, for me, I never experienced the feelings with Cassatt's works as I did when I looked at Mary's work.

I believe that Mary was also a member of the Colleagues of Los Angeles, but I'm not certain of that.  It was a group of socially prominent women, limited to around 50 only, who did charitable work. My mother in law was a member and often they spoke of Nancy Reagan, Kay Spreckles, the Wicks, the Bloomingdales, Annenburg, etc, passing on nice anecdotes about those people.   We generally let the two ladies talk, as they knew such interesting people and had interesting stories to tell.

I vaguely recall that my mother in law, who would have been in her nineties I believe, indicated that Mary was not forthcoming about her age.  She definitely was younger than my mother in law, perhaps 15 to 20 years but I'm not particularly good with ages.

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