M.L. Snowden has spent her life surrounded by sculpture. Her earliest memories and every waking moment of her life include sculpture. From the age of four, she played in her father’s sculpture studio watching him with the unwavering attention of a child enthralled and enchanted. At the age of seven she began working with clay along side her father.
"Clay is a magic material. It’s a mystery. Rodin saw it for himself when he came upon clay, that this was like an epiphany. It was this transformation, this fire that occurred. Everything that you are and you intend comes through and it’s still a mystery to me how what I feel evidences itself in what I have made."
As she grew, she learned Rodin’s transcendental sculpting techniques from her father, George Holburn Snowden, who had in turn been a favored student of Robert George Eberhard, a protégé of the great French sculptors Auguste Rodin, Anton Mercie and Victor Peters. Each of the generations — the French masters, Swiss-born Eberhard, and American-born George Snowden — has contributed to the evolution of a unique heritage of sculpting that finds its contemporary expression through the spectacular works of M.L. Snowden.
Part of that heritage comes through the original sculpting tools of Auguste Rodin that have been passed from mentor to protégé for three generations. The tools, some of which she uses in sculpting her own works, are a symbol for Snowden — a symbol of the awe-inspiring foundation upon which her work is based. They provide a physical connection with the artistic inheritance that has been passed down to her and represent the utter devotion to sculpture of the artists who are part of Rodin’s legacy.
Snowden’s own devotion to sculpture has been acknowledged through the awards that have been bestowed upon her and her work. At the age of 36, she received the inaugural Alex Ettl Grant from the National Sculpture Society for "Lifetime Achievement in American Sculpture". In 1992, she was awarded the world’s most prestigious sculpture prize — the International Rodin Competition Special Grand Prize — for her sculpture "Cataclasis". Early in her career, she was awarded post-graduate study grants to the Vatican Collections in Rome, the Uffizi in Florence, Italy and the Louvre in Paris.
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