Mary Frank (née Mary Lockspeiser) was born in London. She is the only child of the American painter Eleanore Lockspeiser (1909-1986) and British art critic/musicologist Edward Lockspeiser (1905-1973).
Mary is especially well known as a sculptor, painter, printmaker and illustrator. Frank works in a variety of media including clay, for which she is most highly acclaimed.
During WWII Frank was sent to Brooklyn, N.Y., to live with her maternal grandparents, Gregory and Eugenia Weinstein. There Frank studied modern dance and was admitted to the High School for Music and Art in New York. Two years later Frank transferred to the Professional Children’s School, where she majored in dance. Here Frank met Swiss photographer Robert Frank, whom she married in 1950.
At the time Frank was studying wood carving at Alfred van Loen’s studio, and drawing with Max Beckmann (and briefly Hans Hoffmann) at the American Art School in New York.
Frank traveled with her husband and her two children, Paolo and Andrea, across the country for two years.
In 1969 Frank began a partership with the Zabriskie Gallery in New York. Inspired by the pottery of Margret Ponce Israel, Frank began working in clay.
Soon after, Frank purchased a summer home in Lake Hill, New York in 1973 and built her first kiln.
Frank lives in Lake Hill and New York City. She remarried in 1995 after her husband’s death in 1980. Frank’s current husband, Leo Treltler, is a pianist and music scholar.
Mary Frank’s career spans five decades. She is largely self-taught and never had formal training as a sculptress. In 1984 she was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She has received numerous awards and honors that include two Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships, the Lee Krasner Award and the Joan Mitchell Grant Award. Her works are owned by the Metropolitan Museum, the National Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University Art Gallery, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Jewish Museum and many others.
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