Marguerite and William
Zorach, 1919

Marguerite Zorach

Christmas Mail, 1930
oil on canvas,
National Gallery
of Art, Washington DC

The Artist's Statement
"My greatest ability lies in the awareness and use of relationship of form, vision and imagination... I have a sensitive appreciation and ability to handle color. I feel complete freedom to take any liberties with form and space.. You may find the application of my work overpowering; it is never too much for me. I want it that way. It is my pleasure and excitement to fill every space with interest and intricate weaving and design. Without this interest I would never do embroideries.

"They are like symphonies that move and develop and change and contain a lifetime of growth, of power, and tenderness; of sharp contrasts and delicate nuance. They are creations that satisfy the artistic desire. And there is physical work, that same fascination that keeps a sculptor chipping away stone until the form stands revealed."

Ipcar Kitchen,
embroidery, 1944,
private collection

Dahlov with Tooky,
oil on canvas, private collection






Ferry Slip, Bath, Maine,
oil on board



Nude Reclining, 1922
oil on canvas,
National Museum of Women in the Arts

Marguerite Zorach's Biography

Marguerite Zorach, oil by Dahlov Ipcar


Born September 25, 1887 in Santa Rosa, CA

Father: William Palmer Thompson
Mother: Winifred HarrisFamily moved to Fresno, CA in 1880
Married William Zorach in 1912

Exhibited in the 1913 Armory Show in New York City

Son Tessim born 1915
Daughter Dahlov born 1917

Marguerite Zorach & family,
1919, New Hampshire

The Zorach family spent winters in New York City and summers in New Hampshire, Chappaqua, NY; Provincetown, MA and Stonington, ME.

In 1923 they purchased a farm in Robinhood, ME on Georgetown Island.

Marguerite died in Brooklyn, NY, June 27, 1968

Art Studies
Went to study art in Paris in 1907. Studied painting with John Duncan Fergusson and Jacques-Emile Blanche at La Palette, where she met William Zorach. Painted in Paris for four years. Work shown in Paris Salon in 1909, and in Salon D'Automne 1910-11. In Paris she met many of the early modern artists and writers, including Gertrude Stein, Picasso, and Zadkine.

Marguerite Zorach was one of the earliest proponent and practitioners of modern art in America, and she has been called the First Woman Artist of California. She and William Zorach exhibited in the 1913 Armory Show in New York City, and in the 1915 Forum Exhibition. In 1920 her work was shown in the New Tendencies Exhibition in Philadelphia. She also had solo shows at the Daniel, Montross, Brummer, Knoedlers, Kraushaar, and Downtown Galleries in New York City.

Designed and painted scenery for the Provincetown Players in 1916. Experimented with cubism and fauvism; returned to more representational style in 1919, while still retaining many qualities of previous non-representational styles. She was particularly noted as the only person to have made a fine art of embroidered tapestry in the Twentieth Century. Commissioned to do a tapestry of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr.; family at Seal Harbor, ME in 1926. She also experimented with hooked rugs, batiks, textiles, and prints; but in later years worked primarily in oils.




Marguerite, Land & Development, 1925

Silver Medal, San Francisco Legion of Honor, 1919
Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, Bates College, 1964

President, Society of Woman Artists in the 1920s.
Member, Board of Governors of Skowhegan School of Art, Skowhegan, ME in 1950s and 1960s.

U.S. Post Office, Peterborough, NH
US Post Office, Ripley, TN.
US Post Office, Monticello, IN

Permanent Collections

Bates College Museum of Arts, Lewiston, ME.
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Me
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Canton Art Institute, Dayton, OH
Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME
Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York, NY
de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA
Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME

Harn Museum of Art, Uv Florida
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College
Memorial Art Gallery - University of Rochester, NY
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Museum of American Art, Washington DC

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC.
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Wichita Museum of Fine Art, Wichita, KS.
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA

, Kraushaar Gallery, 1964

Sample Biography

See Jessica Nicoll's "To Be Modern"
The Origins of Marguerite and William Zorach's Creative Partnership, 1911-1922 by Jessica Nicoll: Former Curator, Portland Museum of Art; now Director of the Smith College Museum of Art

Zorach works for sale at the Gerald Peters Gallery
For a small overview see William & Marguerite Zorach's gallery

Read more about
Marguerite Zorach


Reproduced with permission of the Imogen Cunningham Trust