Beatrice Wood (March 3, 1893 – March 12, 1998) was an American artist and ceramicist, who late in life was dubbed the "Mama of Dada," and served as a partial inspiration for the character of Rose DeWitt Bukater in James Cameron's 1997 film, Titanic.
Beatrice Wood died nine days after her 105th birthday in Ojai, California. CLICK HERE for the rest of Wikipedia's listing on Beatrice Wood.
Beatrice Wood at Garth Clark - ceramics exhibition; New York, New York
At 100, Beatrice Wood is still potting in fine form. Her new lusterware chalices are adorned with nude figures in high relief. With their legs splayed and their hands on their heads, these figures suggest primal meditation positions or some form of bacchic body worship; the buxom females might also be seen as idealized self-images. After a career as an actress in pre-World War I Paris and New York and as a member of Walter and Louise Arensberg's circle, Wood had an affair with Marcel Duchamp and the diplomat Henri-Pierre Roche that inspired Roche's novel upon which the film Jules and Jim is based. She then followed the Arensbergs to California in 1928 and started potting in 1933 at age 40 by taking classes at Hollywood High.
Wood is an instance of a woman who, after a long and fascinating life, really comes into her own as an artist in her ninth decade. A well-known denizen of Ojai, California, who studied with Krishnamurti and who for the last 28 years has worn only saris, she is currently making enough work to have had three simultaneous shows at Clark's galleries in New York, Kansas City and Los Angeles. Author of five books, including her autobiography I Shock Myself (1988) and The Thirty-Third Wife of the Maharajah (1992) about her travels in India, Wood has become something of an institution, receiving approximately 300 visitors a month who make the pilgrimage to visit her in Ojai...."
CLICK HERE to read the rest of Brooks Adams' article in Sept. 1993 Art in America
Photo of Beatrice Wood at 105
The Biography of Beatrice Wood "... Beatrice Wood was an important contemporary artist, craftperson and writer. Her life ran the course of the 20th century and included many of the figures that shaped it. Ultimately, her genius was in the marriage of wide-ranging influences in her work. The spirit of Dadaism, impact of Modernism, embrace of Eastern philosophy, influence of folk art and even the ornament of ethnic jewelry were all combined in her ceramics. Her work reveals a mastery of form, combined with a preference for the naïveté of folk art. Ultimately, it is impossible to separate her life experiences from the work she created, as she truly mastered the art of a life...." CLICK HERE to view the permanent collection featuring many works of Beatrice Wood.
Tribute Honors Beatrice Wood at Age 104 "... To celebrate the 104th birthday of legendary artist Beatrice Wood, the American Craft Museum in New York City has organized a comprehensive restrospective of her work. Beatrice Wood: A Centennial Tribute encompasses eight decades of Wood's career.... She was a well-known member of the New York Dada Circle, which included such figures as Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia and Man Ray. Many believe that the love triangle that developed among Wood, Duchamp and French Diplomat Henri-Pierre Roché formed the basis of Roché's novel, Jules and Jim, which was later made into the celebrated film by François Truffaut.
"The exhibit is comprised of over 180 examples of her ceramic vessels, figurative ceramic sculpture, drawings, prints and paintings -- with a focus on her ceramic production."
1975 Interview with Beatrice Wood