Mary J. Coulter Biography

~Painter, etcher, craftsman~


Mary Jencques Coulter was born in Newport, Kentucky. She attended the Cincinnati Art Academy where she was a pupil of Frank Duveneck.

After her marriage to Fred Coulter in 1902, she moved to Chicago where she studied a variety of crafts (weaving, bookbinding, jewelry, pottery) at the Art Institute of Chicago and was the first curator of etchings and engravings at that school.

Upon returning from a tour of Europe, she earned a philosophy degree from the University of Chicago. In 1915 her husband died and she came to California where she served as chairman of the arts-crafts jury for the PPIE. After that time she appears to have divided her time between the East Coast and West Coast.

She was a pupil of Lionel Walden in Hawaii for two seasons and later of Charles Hawthorne at Cape Cod. In 1926 she was assistant director of the San Diego Fine Arts Gallery and in the late 1920s moved to Santa Barbara where she lived until her marriage to O. L. Clark in 1953. She then moved to Amherst, MA where she remained until her death on Oct. 18, 1966.

Member: American Federation of Arts; Chicago Society of Etchers; Calif. Print Makers Society; Provincetown AA; SFAA; Calif. Society of Etchers; San Diego Art Guild; Santa Barbara Art Guild; North Shore AA; AAPL; Nat'l Ass'n of Women Artists.

Exhibited: Lewis & Clark Expo (Portland), 1905; San Francisco Art Association, 1916-24; Hawaiian Society of Artists, 1917; Berkeley League of FA, 1924; Calif. Society of Etchers, Stanford Univ., 1928; Santa Barbara Art League, 1930; De Young Museum, 1931 (solo); Calif. Art Club, 1936; Montecito Country Club, 1940; LACMA, 1945 (solo). In: Huntington Library (San Marino, CA); Society of Calif. Pioneers; British Museum; CSL; University Club (San Diego); Library of Congress, AIC; NMAA; Boston Museum; Cooke Gallery (Honolulu); MM; Matson Navigation Co.; Commercial Club (SF); Fogg Museum (Harvard); Oakland Museum; LA Public Library; NY Public Library; Louvre (Paris); LACMA.


Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"; Jones Library (Amherst); Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers (Fielding, Mantle); Women Artists of the American West; American Art Annual 1909-33; Who's Who in American Art 1936-62; Artists of the American West (Doris Dawdy); Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); Women Artists in America (Collins & Opitz).