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Marilyn Mackenzie

Biography to Display: 

1941 Born


1959-1962San Jose State University, San Jose, California

1964 BAFresno State University, Fresno, California


Ceramic sculptor


Marilyn MacKenzie is known for stoneware or high fired white clay monumental animal forms.

For 25 years she fired in a gas kiln. MacKenzie’s color palette is limited to natural terra cotta, glossy white and matte black. Originally she created her figures from thrown and altered forms, she them moved on to working with press molds she created from original clay pieces. In addition to her animal sculptures she also completed numerous wall installations in public and private spaces. Typically these wall installations include animal heads and a fountain. MacKenzie was inspired by the Lascaux cave paintings, the fountains at the Alhambra in Spain, and the bas relief walls at Persepolis in ancient Persia.

MacKenzie was in California during the 1950s and 1960s, the turbulent ceramic years driven by men. She was anxious to bring a woman’s presence to the scene. During this period, Sandra Johnstone was her mentor.




Typical Marks
Ceramic Wall Fountain
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified April 14, 2023.