Discipline: Visual Art

Helen Farnsworth Mears

Discipline: Visual Art
MacDowell fellowships: 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911

Helen Farnsworth Mears (1872-1916) was an American sculptor. Her first success, before any formal art training, was Genius of Wisconsin, a work commissioned by the State of Wisconsin when she was just 21. The work was exhibited in the Wisconsin Building at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. The 9-foot marble sculpture was executed by the Piccirilli Brothers. It is now housed in the Wisconsin State Capitol. Both she and sculptor Jean Pond Miner were named "artists in residence" at the Wisconsin Building, and that is where she created The Genius of Wisconsin, while Miner produced Forward. Mears was one of a group of women sculptors christened the "White Rabbits" who worked under Lorado Taft producing sculpture for the World Columbian Exposition. In 1907, Mears, and her sister, writer Mary Mears, were the first Fellows at MacDowell.

Studios

Schelling

Helen Farnsworth Mears worked in the Schelling studio.

Marian Nevins MacDowell funded construction of this studio the year that the organization was established and the first artists arrived for residency. It was called Bark Studio until 1933, when it was renamed in honor of Ernest Schelling, a composer, pianist, and orchestral leader who served as president of what was then called the Edward MacDowell…

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