Discipline: Literature

Bertha Damon

Discipline: Literature
MacDowell Fellowships: 1940

Bertha Damon was born Bertha Louise Clark in Connecticut in 1881. After graduating from Pembroke College at Brown University in 1905, she began teaching in Providence, Rhode Island and later in Oakland. Damon befriended Albert Bender, who was treasurer and publications chair of the Book Club of California. She became a part-time secretary for the club in 1920, and she edited and wrote an introduction to The Letters of Ambrose Bierce, published in 1922.

In 1922, inspired by her travels to Europe, Damon opened the Old World Shop in Berkeley, selling antiques and Oriental rugs. Although she was educated as a writer, Damon was greatly interested in the arts and architecture, building and remodeling several homes in the Bay Area. Damon traveled extensively throughout the United States. After her marriage to Lindsay Todd Damon in 1928, they moved to a large estate in Alton, New Hampshire. Damon is best known for her humorist memoir, Grandma Called It Carnal, which was published by Simon and Schuster in 1938.



Bertha Damon worked in the Mansfield studio.

The Helen Coolidge Mansfield Studio was donated by graduates of the Mansfield War Service Classes for Reconstruction Aides. Helen Mansfield helped found the New York MacDowell Club. The small, shingled frame structure with stone foundation was originally fronted on the west side by a neat white picket fence and gate, a garden, and a stone pathway…

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