The Stone City Art Colony and School 1932-1933
Mary Mattern
 

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Mary Mattern (1903-1982) - student

A Chicago native, Mary (Lieberman) Mattern was infused with an undeniable enthusiasm for art, even at a young age. Through mutual artist friends, she met her husband, Karl Mattern, while he was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago; they married in 1922. The pair became close friends with Albert Bloch, a member of the German expressionist Blue Rider group, which directly led to Karl’s appointment as an art professor at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. The couple moved from Chicago in 1925 and remained at the campus until 1948.

While in Kansas, Mary continued to support her husband’s ventures and promote the Lawrence arts community. She attended both sessions of the Stone City Art Colony, specializing in painting and sculpture. In 1948, the Matterns relocated to Des Moines for Karl’s new appointment as an art faculty member at Drake University. As Karl rose to a position of national recognition for his work in oil painting, Mary involved herself with art organizations across Iowa and in Des Moines. She became an ardent supporter of the Des Moines Art Center and was recognized as a respected art historian. Mary’s greatest avocation was the promotion of her husband’s work – organizing exhibitions, publishing articles, and advocating for his legacy in art.

After Karl died in 1969, Mary remained in Des Moines and kept active in the area’s art community. At the time of her death in 1982, she was writing a biography of her husband.


Published Works

Mattern, Mary. "Karl Mattern: Mid-American Painter." Annals of Iowa 42.4 (Spring 1974): 271-289.

Mary Mattern - From the large group photo of The 1932 Stone City Art Colony and School found on the Artists: 1932 page.

Mary Mattern - From the large group photo of The 1932 Stone City Art Colony and School found on the Artists: 1932 page.

   

When Tillage Begins: The Stone City Art Colony and School
Published online October 2003 by the
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