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 Mary Goldsmith Scheier  (1910 - 2007)

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Lived/Active: New Hampshire/Arizona / Mexico/Puerto Rico      Known for: ceramist, designer, craftsperson, educator

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A pioneer in the techniques of modern studio pottery, Mary Scheier, working with her husband, Edwin Scheier, was known for utilitarian pots highlighted by skillfully applied glazes.  With him creating and applying the glazes, the couple worked side by side most of their married life.  In addition to thrown pottery, they made small sculptures from local clay, and some of these pieces resembled Sung Dynasty-era pottery.  Rebirth of humans and animals was a reoccurring theme in their work.

Mary Scheier was born in Salem, Virginia, and in 1925, at age 15, moved to New York City, encouraged by an aunt who lived there.  She enrolled in the Art Students League, the Grand Central School of Art, and the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts.  She then went to Paris, France, briefly and worked in advertising before returning to her home state of Virginia, with a brief time spent in New York City.  During the Depression, she worked for the art division of the WPA (Works  Progress Administration) as the Director of a Crafts School in Virginia, and met Edwin Scheier in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The couple married in 1937.

They moved to Durham, New Hampshire in 1940, and for the next 28 years, both taught at the University of New Hampshire, and she was an Artist-in-Residence. Between 1968 and 1978, they lived in Oaxaca, Mexico, pursuing their interest in the culture of the Zapotec Indians.  In 1978, they moved to Green Valley, Arizona where she died on May 14, 2007 at age 99.


Roja Heydarpour, "Mary Scheier, 99, Creator of Elegant Pottery", The New York Times, May 19, 2007, Obituaries, A26

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