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 Mary Louise Snowden  (1952 - )

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: sculptor-human figure

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Mary Louise Snowden
An example of work by Mary Louise Snowden
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
M.L. Snowden is a sculptor noted for exploring the monumental forces and energies of geological phenomena that extend to summaries of human figuration. Snowden's sculpture is intended to convey a sense of power and movement through a juxtaposition of abstract and representational elements. Snowden is noted for advancing the art of bronze into new levels of extrusion, mathematical weight balancing, chasing techniques and proprietary patina formulations.

Snowden inherited the art of sculpture from her father, sculptor George Holburn Snowden,N.A. (1901-1990). G.H. Snowden created the Main Altar and the exterior sculptural programs of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. Upon winning the Prix de Rome of 1926, G.H.Snowden was given 38 of the original sculpting tools of Rodin by his teacher and mentor, Robert Georges Eberhard (Swiss, 1884-1965) who had been a pacticien of Rodin and Chairman of the Yale Sculpture Department and curator of the Yale Museum archives for almost 50 years. M.L. inherited these historic tools after her father's death as well as the formulas for the luminous patinas for which she is known.

Upon his return from the English Fellowship awarded circa 1923, M.L. Snowden's father was a sculpture instructor at Yale University as well as a professional sculptor/collaborator in the Sculpture studios of A.A.(Adolph Alexander) Weinman. Weinman was a protege of Augustus Saint Gaudens. Saint Gaudens was a pupil of the French sculptor, Jouffroy. Rodin was a student of the greatest anamalier of 19th France, Barye who was also a student of Jouffroy. The important studio working methods of Jouffry passed on through Saint Gaudens, Barye, Rodin, Eberhard and G.H. Snowden, form a direct line into the works of M.L. Snowden. The classic underpinnings and cannons that informed the sculpture produced in these historic studios have been transformed, celebrated and literally re-invented in the sculptures of M.L. Snowden. Michael Miller, National marketing Director of Ebay and Butterfields wrote, " M.L. Snowden's sculpture is a glorious fusion of the golden age of Europe superceded by the vitality of the moment."

Of her art education, she said:"I'm not the product of an art school, but of a life immersed in art."(Art &Antiques, 9/2000).

Snowden was awarded post-graduate grants for extended study at the Louvre in Paris, the Uffizi in Florence, and the Vatican Collections in Rome. One of her most traumatic times was when her father died in 1990 and she could not stand to be in the studio alone. She abandoned her art until 1998 when her mother died (Louise Weider Snowden 1911-1998) and returned to sculpture realizing that life is fragile and that one should follow one's talents.

All of her works, many of them between 500 to 1000 pounds and more, have a sense of movement and force. Snowden's sculptures, when exhibited together, have an interconnectedness that forms a cohesive installation.

In 1989 Snowden was awarded the inaugural Alex Ettl Grant for 'Lifetime Achievement in American Sculpture", presented by the National Sculpture Society in New York City. Snowden was the world winner of the 1992 International Rodin Competition in Tokyo, Japan.

Her work is in the permanent collection of the Hakone Open-Air Museum in Japan and other public and private collections. M.L. Snowden is the sculptor of the Main Altar of the $200 million downtown Los Angeles Cathedral and the creator of the first group of sculpted angels to be installed in a permanent public space in the history of the city of Los Angeles, "The Los Angeles Angel Frieze" on display in the Cathedral's Visitors Center.

M.L. Snowden, August 2003

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