Discipline: Literature

Mary Mears

Discipline: Literature
MacDowell Fellowships: 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911

Mary Mears (1870-1940) was a fiction writer and reportedly sold her first book, principally written between the ages of 14 and 17 to Henry Holt. It was called Emma Lou—Her Book. She also wrote many short stories and sold them to a “sensational” Chicago newspaper for $4 per newsprint page. Her best early story, according to her, was called “Across the Bridges” and was published by Harper’s in 1900. She is also credited with the screenplay for the silent film The Forbidden Thing, produced in 1921, the play Wings and the Woman, and the novel, Begotten. In 1907, Mears, and her sister, sculptor Helen Farnsworth Mears, were the first Fellows at MacDowell. She said, "Whatever influences the art of a country, influences in the most intimate sense its civilization, and certainly few people are aware that MacDowell's plan, now proved practical beyond question, is one of national importance."



Mary Mears worked in the Schelling studio.

Marian 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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