SPOTLIGHT: February 25, 2022

Marguerite Thompson Zorach

Marguerite Thompson Zorach is best known for her early modernist paintings and late embroidery creations.  One of the first women to be admitted to Stanford University in 1908, she was invited to study in Paris by her aunt which changed the course of her career. There she met Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Gertrude Stein (1874-1946). She attended the avant-garde school La Palette, where she met her future husband, artist William Zorach. During this time, she created etchings like this delicate rendering entitled The Tree, thought to be an olive tree with olive pickers resting nearby.

Like many of their contemporaries, Marguerite Thompson and William Zorach were drawn to New York City for the artistic community yet also enjoyed working close to nature. For this reason, they agreed to spend summers away from the city, traveling to New Hampshire, Cape Cod, and Maine, before buying a farmhouse in Robinhood Cove, near Georgetown, Maine, in 1923. This connection to New England shaped both artist’s work. As a young mother Zorach was challenged with balancing the management of the home and raising children while still making art. She learned traditional techniques like embroidery and batik so that she could work in short intervals between household tasks. This domestic world found its way into her imagery, inspiring Zorach to articulate her uniquely modern vision of old New England.

Marguerite Thompson Zorach
(American, 1887-1968)
The Tree, 1909-12
Etching, 6.75 x 4.75

ACM 79.43