Mary Lindheim (1912 - 2004)
Mary Tuthill Lindheim was a leading Bay Area sculptor and ceramicist in the 1950s and 1960s, during an innovative era in American ceramics. She loved texture and had mastered mixing unusual glazes. She worked in stoneware, porcelain and terra cotta, creating classic bowls and vessels, handsome figurative works, and dramatic abstract sculpture. She also worked in bronze, metalwork, stone inlay, and jewelry making with natural stones.
Educated at California School of Fine Arts, Chouinard Art Institute, and California College of Arts and Crafts, her work was internationally exhibited. She spent years in New York, then returned to San Francisco where she led the Association of San Francisco Potters, co-founded Designer-Craftsmen of California, and organized ceramic exhibitions for museums. In 1952 she settled on the waterfront of Sausalito. A remarkably attractive woman who wore colorful ethnic garments, Lindheim was at home in Sausalito’s vibrant art scene. She helped establish the Sausalito Art Center and the Sausalito Art Festival and led a successful resistance to a large development on the waterfront. Lindheim was a lifetime social activist through the NAACP, her deep involvement with Navajo people, and work on behalf of veterans, Jewish refugees, and unions.
In 1968 she moved to Bolinas where her life became quieter. A retrospective exhibition at Bolinas Museum in 1999 revitalized interest in her work. Lindheim was flamboyant into her 90s, wearing ethnic dress and Navajo silver and participating in Bolinas community events.