Showing posts with label Marian Jane McClure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marian Jane McClure. Show all posts

Sunday, February 12, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Ceramic Heirlooms

Zebra sculpture by Marian McClure Wood, 1950
My late mother-in-law, Marian Jane McClure Wood, became interested in ceramic sculpture as a hobby in the late 1940s. She took classes at Oxford Elementary School in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, with a well-known ceramicist, Edris Eckhardt.

Edris lived on Monticello Blvd, around the corner from the Cleveland Heights Blvd home where Marian and her family (Edgar J. Wood plus 3 children) lived. Edris was an internationally famous artist whose Alice in Wonderland sculptures had been displayed at the 1937 World's Fair in Paris and who had been a leader in Cleveland's Depression-era Federal Arts Project. She was deeply involved in the local art community and the Oxford school was one focus.

Marian quickly became so interested in ceramics that her husband Edgar and her father (Brice Larimer McClure) built her a kiln in the basement of Marian & Edgar's home, and arranged special electrical wiring for it.

Duck sculpture by Marian MccClure Wood (undated)
 Rather than make the usual ashtrays, Marian studied a book on animal anatomy and made ceramic animals. Hubby and I proudly display two zebra sculptures and a duck sculpture that she made. Marian also created a lovely series of ceramic creche figures, which my sis-in-law puts on display every Christmas.

Like all Cleveland-area artists, Marian aspired to have her works shown in the Cleveland Museum of Art's prestigious May Show. I found out when I checked the museum's database that she succeeded with four works: In 1948, she showed a zebra sculpture; in 1949, she showed "Spring Night" and a zebra; in 1950, she showed "The Champ." (Her son, my bro-in-law, had a painting in the 1960 May show; her daughter, my sis-in-law, had a textile design in the 1959 show.)

Inscription inside zebra sculpture - "1950 M Wood"
Marian's peak achievement was a three-foot-high Alice in Wonderland sculpture that she had fired in a commercial kiln and donated to the Oxford Elementary School in Cleveland Heights, in the late 1950s. This school houses an excellent collection of Federal Art, much of it produced under the supervision of or using the processes of Edris Eckhardt. Perhaps Marian's Alice is still there today?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent Calendar of Memories: Christmas Past

My late father-in-law, Edgar J. Wood, kept a diary for many years, usually in yearly calendar diaries given as gifts to customers by Edgar's employer, the Buckeye Union Insurance Company of Cleveland, Ohio. Years after Edgar retired, the company kept sending him the diaries at year's end, and he faithfully wrote a few lines every day with his fountain pen.

Here are the entries he wrote for Christmas day in 1959, 1969, and 1979. (My genealogical explanations are in italics within parentheses). In 1959 and 1969, Edgar and his wife Marian McClure Wood, were living in Cleveland, Ohio. By 1979, they had moved to Pittsfield, Mass., to be near Wally and his family.
  • 1959. After breakfast, presents!! R (my hubby Wally's first wife) brought up Brice (hubby's maternal grandfather). Later, Leta, Chip, Jeff & Tim (Leta was Wally's aunt, the three boys are his first cousins) dropped in for buffet supper. Much singing around piano, "Guys & Dolls" getting a big play. Ernie & Gorden Pettit (friends of Wally's) dropped in. All in all, a big day.
  • 1969. Christmas morning, everyone opened presents. In P.M., W (Wally) and R (his wife) had friends in for an open-house "Sing Along." Cold & snow outside. Stayed in all day. Showed the slides of trip (Edgar and Marian took a big European trip in 1969 via ocean liner and train, arriving in England and continuing to Paris, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria before returning by ship to New York City and then by train to Cleveland).
  • 1979. AM: 10:00 o'clock service. To P.O. (post office, presumably, to mail cards). P.M.: Home for lunch. Some practicing (he played piano professionally). Reading. Paperwork. Evening: To W's (Wally's) where R (his wife) prepared one of her very fine dinners. Later, exchange of presents, some from B (Wally's sister). Visiting.

Friday, July 22, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy: Water (Cruising Along)

My in-laws, Marian Jane McClure Wood and Edgar James Wood, absolutely loved cruising to Europe and back. (I've written an entry about his college days, paying his way across the Atlantic by playing in bands.) Ed took photos and slides everywhere, as well as making notes during the journey, so we know where/when they cruised.

Above, for example, they're enjoying the "Farewell Dinner" aboard the Cristoforo Colombo on Wednesday, November 5, 1969 (according to the caption on back of the photo). Below, they're smiling at the Gala Dinner on the S.S. France on Monday, September 4, 1967.

My hubby and I love to cruise too. This year and last, we went to the Baltic. Nowadays, we each carry a camera and take photos (hundreds and hundreds). Then we choose 100 or so to put into a Shutterfly book. Here's a favorite shot from our visit to the Hermitage last month. Great memories!