Theme/Style – Modernism, landscape, still life
Media – Oils, watercolor, etchings
Artistic Focus – Though she also worked in oil and watercolor, Marian Hebert’s best-known works are her etchings with aquatint depicting botanical subjects. Her renditions of flowers and trees are not only masterful; they possess a uniquely luminous, sensual, very modern quality that transcends their subject matter and elevates them to sophisticated studies of light, shadow, and contour.
Career Highlights –
- Frances Marian Hebert was born in Spencer, Iowa in 1899. Moving to Three Forks, Montana in 1911, Hebert received a Bachelor of Arts degree, with majors in mathematics and physics, from the University of Montana, Missoula, in 1920. In 1923, after recovering from tuberculosis, she moved to the warmer climate of Whittier, California.
- Having completed a correspondence course offered by a Chicago art school in 1925, Hebert settled in Santa Barbara, where she took art courses and graduated from Santa Barbara State Teachers College in 1929, and thereafter studied etching at the Santa Barbara School of Arts under Ed Borein.
- Hebert twice had her works featured in the 100 Best Prints of the Year show, New York (1935 and 1936); and she also received critical praise for her exhibition of floral aquatints at the Print Rooms in Los Angeles in 1937.
- Hebert exhibited at the Southern California Festival of Allied Arts at the Los Angeles Art Museum in 1936, receiving a special merit award; and that same year her floral prints were exhibited at Los Angeles’s Foundation of Western Art, along with prints by Conrad Buff, Tom Craig, Everett Gee Jackson, Warren Newcombe, and others.
- Hebert’s work was included in the 1937 International Exposition in Paris, the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco, the 1939 New York World’s Fair, and the 1940 Venice Biennale; and in 1941 an exhibition of Hebert’s aquatints took place at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
- After working in a Los Angeles aircraft plant during World War II, Hebert joined the faculty at Mary Hardin-Baylor College in Belton, Texas in 1945. She would remain there for over a decade, becoming head of the school’s art department and an active member and exhibitor in the Texas art community. During this time she also earned a Master of Arts degree from Boston University and studied watercolor portraiture with Eliot O’Hara; as well as continuing to exhibit with the Print Makers Society of California.
- In 1946 her aquatint of a flowering Texas dogwood was exhibited in the Society of American Etchers annual show at the National Academy of Design Galleries in New York; the print was also included in the California Print Makers traveling exhibition, and in the Chicago Society of Etchers Show in 1947. Also in 1947, Hebert’s aquatint etching of camellias was reproduced in an issue of Print Survey – A Review of Recent Fine Prints.
- In 1948, 30 prints by Hebert were featured in an exhibition at the Elisabet Ney Museum in Austin, Texas, and she exhibited with the Texas Fine Arts Association frequently through the 1950s. In 1957, shortly before she was to leave her position at Mary Hardin-Baylor College, a one-woman show of Herbert’s prints, watercolors, and oils was held at on the school’s campus.
- After leaving Texas, Hebert returned to Santa Barbara, and she passed away there after an automobile accident in 1960. In 1984, a tribute exhibition to three early Santa Barbara women artists – Marian Hebert, Pauline Harper Moll, and Grace Libby Vollmer – was presented in the city’s Arlington Gallery. Hebert’s work is in the collections of the Library of Congress, Washington, DC; the Society of American Graphic Artists, New York; and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Selection of Works by this Artist
Bibliographic references are available upon request.