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Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, PMSIA Class of 1898

Meta Vaux Warrick FullerMeta Vaux Warrick Fuller, 1877-1968
© Photograph courtesy of Dr. John L. Fuller, Sr. Do not use without express permission of Dr. Fuller.

Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PMSIA), Diploma and Teacher's Certificate, School of Applied Art 1898.
Honorable Mention, Mrs. George K. Crozer Prize, for the best work in modelling [sculpture] 1898.
Received an award for an additional year of study for 1898/99.
Mrs. George K. Crozer Prize, $20.00, for the best work in modelling [sculpture] 1899.
Mr. H. H. Battles First Prize, $25.00, for a jardiniere, 1904.

Mentioned in the June 1914 "Newsletter of the Alumni Association of the Pennsylvania Museum & School of Industrial Art", p. 29: "Mrs. Meta Vaux Warrick-Fuller, one of our active members, exhibited at the Exposition held by the New York State Emancipation Proclamation Commission in October 1913, a group eight feet high representing a newly emancipated man and maiden, standing in the shelter of a decapitated tree that has the semblance of a human hand stretched above them. This hand represents humanity which is pushing them out into the untried work [sic - world?]. Mrs. Fuller has just had an exhibition of her work at South Framingham, Mass."

Prize-winning jardiniere by Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller


Caption reads "Pottery Jardiniere. The H. H. Battles First Prize. Designed and Modelled by Meta Vaux Warrick, A Pupil of the School." Source: Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art. Annual Report for the Year Ending May 31, 1904, page 38. 1903-04 was the first year that pottery/ceramics was officially offered as a program, with Leon Volkmar as pottery instructor. © University of the Arts • University Libraries • University Archives. Do not use without permission.


Ethiopia Awakening by Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller

Ethiopia Awakening, c. 1910, by Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller. Bronze, 67x16x10". Used with permission from Art and Artifacts Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, Astor, Lennox and Tilden Foundations. Do not use without permission.


Portrait of Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller


© Photograph courtesy of Dr. John L. Fuller, Sr. Do not use without express permission of Dr. Fuller.

Meta is pronounced "mee-tah", according to Fuller's grandson, Dr. John Fuller.

Best known for her sculpture, in particular Ethiopia Awakening (owned by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library), Fuller was an accomplished fine artist who also did a great deal of stage design (see Kathy A. Perkins' article in the bibliography below) in the Boston area and in Framingham, Massachusetts, where she lived after her marriage in 1909 to Dr. Solomon Fuller.

She seems to have always been interested in learning: after receiving her Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PMSIA) diploma in 1898, she stayed on for another year and received the Mrs. George K. Crozer Prize of $20.00 for the best work in modelling [sculpture] in 1899. Upon her return to Philadelphia from her studies in Paris, where she had studied at the Academie Colarossi and at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and met Henry Ossawa Tanner and Auguste Rodin, she enrolled at PMSIA again to study in the new pottery classes, offered for the first time in December 1903 "under the direction of Mr. Leon Volkmar" (PMSIA Annual Report for 1904, page 36) and won the 1904 Battles Prize for the jardiniere shown above. She also studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia around that time. According to Perkins' article listed below, Fuller also took courses in religious pageantry and theatrical lighting (Perkins, page 70).


For more information about Warrick Fuller consult the following selected sources:

An Independent Woman: The Life and Art of Meta Warrick Fuller (1877-1968). Framingham, MA : Danforth Museum of Art, [1984]
UArts Greenfield Library 730.924 F959i

Ater, Renée. "Making History: Meta Warrick Fuller's Ethiopia". American Art, v. 17, no. 3 (Fall 2003), p. 12-31.
An in-depth look at the historical context in which Fuller's iconic piece was made. 35 bibliographic notes.

Ater, Renée. Remaking Race and History: The Sculpture of Meta Warrick Fuller. University of California Press, 2011.
UArts Greenfield Library 730.924 F959a

An Independent Woman: The Life and Art of Meta Warrick Fuller (1877-1968). Framingham, MA: Danforth Museum of Art, [1984]
UArts Greenfield Library 730.924 F959i

Boime, Albert. The Art of Exclusion: Representing Blacks in the Nineteenth Century. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990.
UArts Greenfield Library 704.9499730496 B636a

Bearden, Romare and Harry Henderson. A History of African-American Artists: From 1792 to the Present. New York : Pantheon Books, c1993.
UArts Greenfield Library 704.0396073 B38h
Mentions Fuller as an influence on Augusta Savage and Fuller's relationship with Lois Jones.

Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America. Studio Museum in Harlem : Abradale Press, 1994.
UArts Greenfield Library 704.0396073 H226
Good reproductions of "Man Eating His Heart Out", "Ethiopia Awakening", "Talking Skull", "Mother and Child" and more.

Perkins, Kathy A. "The Genius of Meta Warrick Fuller." Black American Literature Forum, v. 24, no. 1 (Spring 1990), p. 65-72.
Focuses on Warrick Fuller's theater design activities.

Porter, James A. Modern Negro Art . With a new introduction by David C. Driskell. Washington, D.C. : Howard University Press, 1992. Originally published: New York : Dryden Press, 1943.
UArts Greenfield Library 704.0396073 P834m 1992
Reprint of a book originally written in 1943. Includes the introductions for the 1943, 1969 and 1992 editions. Interesting for its 1943 point of view.

Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance. University of California Press, 1997.
UArts Greenfield Library 704.0396073 R341h

St. James Guide to Black Artists / Thomas Riggs, editor ; with a preface by Howard Dodson. Detroit, MI : St. James Press, c1997. Published in association with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
UArts Greenfield Library REF 709.22 St1r

3 Generations of African American Women Sculptors : A Study in Paradox. Philadelphia : Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum, 1996.
UArts Greenfield Library 730.8996073 T413a

250 Years of Afro-American Art : An Annotated Bibliography / Lynn Moody Igoe with James Igoe. New York : Bowker, 1981.
UArts Greenfield Library Reference 704.039673016 Ig65t 1981
This is a highly recommended source for finding books and articles from a wide range of publications, including The Crisis, Journal of Negro Education, Journal of Negro History, Negro History Bulletin, and a variety of newspapers.


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