Mail Tribune - March 2000
By: Bill Varble
ASHLAND -- In the spare bedroom Mary Perry Stone uses as a studio, an abstract oil painting titled "Propaganda" covers almost an entire wall. It's an outraged cry against war "patrioteers."
"That means those who profit from it," says Stone, 90.
A small, engaging woman with a ready smile, she shows visitors rooms and closets full of the paintings she's created in eight decades. The palette and brushes crammed onto a workbench testify to regular use. Books (V.S. Naipaul) and pamphlets ("Free Tibet") lie about.
A new exhibit of Stone's work, "History on the Wall: 60 Years of Protest," runs through April 7 at the Rogue Gallery and Art Center in Medford.
Two of Stone's sculptures you will not see in the exhibit are "Homeless" and "Together Mother and Child," which are almost certainly at the bottom of New York's East River. What you will see are paintings such as "Glory," which combines loose, impressionistic brushwork with stark subject matter -- outrage at the war in Vietnam.
Stone's work is a window to some of the big issues of the 20th century. In a career that stretches from the Works Progress Administration to Web sites, her work has been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rockefeller Center and the New School for Social Research.
She was born Mary Perry in Rhode Island in 1909 and attended the Art Students League in New York City when just 15. A brother helped her attend the Traphagen School of Fine Arts and Design, but she graduated to find that jobs for young women were almost nonexistent in the Depression.