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Maryann Webster

American, b. 1947

Shallow Edge of the Gene Pool 1

Stoneware and porcelain
3.25 x 18 x 13.125 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Maryann Webster has said about Shallow Edge of the Gene Pool: “The basin form is in the style of Bernard Palissy, a French ceramics artist from the late Renaissance, whose works were designed to glorify nature. Five hundred years later I wanted to comment on what has happened to nature since then . . . Pure water was considered a source of all life, but water now often contains toxins from industrial dumping, sewage, agricultural chemical runoff, oil spills, radioactive contamination, and plastic particles. Damage to the natural world by humans is outpacing the planet’s capacity to recover. The mutant form in the center represents a confusion of plant and animal forms. The snake (as in Palissy’s basins) represents the snake entering the Garden of Eden and destroying Paradise.”

Maryann Webster was born Maryann Sorensen in 1947 in San Francisco. Her father, Royal Sorensen, conducted microbiology research, which would prove an important influence on her work as an artist. Webster graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in 1970 and received her MFA from the University of Utah around 2002.

Bolton Colburn

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