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In the Studio Of . . .

We recently visited the marvelous Meta Faux Warrick Fuller Special Collection at the Danforth Art Museum of Framingham State University, Framingham, Massachusetts. Meta (pronounce Mee-tah, according to her grandson) Vaux Warrick Fuller was a notable sculptor, one of the first African American female sculptors to become well known. She first studied in Philadelphia, then Paris, and was recognized for her "revolutionary depictions of the African and African-American experiences." A wall plaque notes that her "work was instrumental to formatting and celebrating Black cultural identity and community:"

Left image,: Meta Faux Warrick Fuller (1877-1968) Click to enlarge images.

Left image:The article, "A Famous Negro Sculptor," appeared on the front page of The Kansas City Sun, a newspaper for the African American community in Kansas City, Missouri, on January 19, 1918.

Right image: Entrance to the gallery dedicated to Meta Faux Warrick Fuller. (The red dress is one of four winners in a design award competition for senior fashion design students at Framingham State University.)

Right image below, close-up of display case: Center front: The Slave Ship, c. 1960s, Painted plaster; Left object, Self Portrait, n.d. unfired clay; Back object, Veiled Future, c. 1914, Painted plaster; Right object, Maquette for Spirit of Emancipation, c. 1913. Plaster.* Fuller created this monumrnt of a female and male figure emerging from the tree of knowledge to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was cast in bronze in 1999 and placed in Harriet Tubman Park, Boston, Massachusetts. Nearby is the memorial to Harriet Tubman, "Step on Board," by Fern Cunningham that I have posted about. The awesome and unique fact is that these two evocative monuments, the only ones in the park, are both by Black women sculptors!

Left image below: Other visitors in the gallery. The open storage display along the wall includes Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller's sculptures, process pieces, studies, and ephemera.

Right image: I am looking at re-creation of a corner of Fuller's first studio that was in the attic of her home. The studio in her home helped her balance her domestic duties and her need "to create and succeed as a professional artist."

Below left: We stopped at the Children's Room at the Framingham Public Library to see Story Time by Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller. The fact that it was a gift in 1961 from the Framingham Women's Club is inscribed on the back. Beside the sculptor is a report by Tegan, 5 that reads: "Meta was a famous artist. She sculpted and painted and she also made a very nice sculpture in the library. It is right here. She lived in Framingham."

Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller's husband, Solomon Carter Fuller, was a Liberian neurologist, psychiatrist, and pathologist, who worked at Westborough State Hospital. His paternal grandparents had been slaves in Virginia until his grandfather bought their freedom. In 1852, they emigrated to Liberia in West Africa to a colony developed by the American Colonization Society. He received his medical education in America, and trained as a psychiatrist in German. During his career, Dr. Fuller made significant contributions to the understanding of Alzheimer's disease. He and Meta had three children. The Fuller Middle School, located near where they lived in Framingham, is named for them. The plaque reads in part: "Dr. and Mrs. Fuller were leaders in their professions and in the Framingham Community .. . . The roles they played during their lifetimes serve as models for the students of the school named in their memory."

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