Skip to content
Mary Frank: The Observing Heart

Mary Frank: The Observing Heart, exhibition installation image, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, Photo: Bob Wagner

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz is delighted to present Mary Frank: The Observing Heart, an exhibition of Mary Frank’s powerful artwork that spans her career of more than six decades. This retrospective exhibition is part of The Dorsky’s Hudson Valley Masters series and is centered on the twin themes of social justice and the preservation of the natural world.

The exhibition will be on view from Feb. 5 – July 17, 2022, in The Dorsky’s Morgan Anderson Gallery and Howard Greenberg Family Gallery.

Acclaimed artist and activist Mary Frank has been making art in her Manhattan and Hudson Valley studios for more than 60 years. She is an independent spirit who emerged during the years of rising feminism in the early 1970s and has always followed a personal vision distinct from prevailing art world fashion. The upcoming exhibition is a gathering of sculpture, painting, drawings, prints and photographs from throughout her illustrious career.

Mary Frank’s lifelong artmaking began in Manhattan in the early 1950s. During her formative years, she made semi-abstract figures carved from wood and plaster. A shift to clay in the late 1960s was a revelation as she discovered an improvisatory process that was a perfect match for her artistic sensibility.

In the early 1970s, she broke into public view with distinctive clay sculptures of the female form. Since then, she has made critically acclaimed work in a broad range of media that includes sculptures in clay, cast bronze, and plaster, along with paintings, drawings, prints and photographs.

Beyond the studio, Mary is an ardent activist for social and environmental causes and a tireless advocate of Solar Cookers International, an organization that provides women in areas of energy poverty with solar-powered cookers.

The exhibition, Mary Frank: The Observing Heart is a career overview of a brave artist who has never compromised her beliefs about art or life.

Back To Top