Marion’s Story

Site created on April 16, 2019


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November 25, 1934 ~ April 12, 2019
Marion's Biography from the mid-80's:



"Whoever speaks in primordial images speaks in a thousand voices: he entralls and overpowers, while at the same time he lifts the idea he is seeking to express out of the occasional and the transitory into the realm of the ever-enduring. He transmutes our personal destiny into the destiny of mankind, and evokes in us all those beneficent forces that ever and anon have enabled humanity to find refuge from every peril and to outlive the longest night."    Carl Gustav Jung

A native of California, sculptor Marion L. Young grew up in Oakland, California. Her father was a painter, her mother a poet, and both were musicians. Marion began dancing at age four. She attended San Francisco University, majoring in biology with an art minor, intending then to become a medical illustrator.


The theater distracted her from that goal, and after leaving SFSU, she toured the western states with a repertory company. Her interests in theater and music took her next to Los Angles, then to New York, then back to Los Angeles, each move for performing and formal study.


Marion then turned her attention to another art form. she and a partner established Renaissance II, a foundry for casting bronze works of art, and later a gallery in Beverly Hills. Her role during this period was that of business manager. When the gallery sold, she decided to turn her creative impulses to sculpture and was determined to develop in this field independently. Since that time, she has acquired a mastery of the technical elements of this medium and has matured as a talented and visionary artist.


Marion's work reflects her odyssey through the arts, an accumulative and internalized experience, which honed her eye for truth and line. She sculpts in clay, working from live models. Selection of model involves, for her, a search at and below the surface; for the essence of movement or gesture in her work must include, in the true Stanislavskian sense, its unique character, history and motive, its depth of feeling ... what it says.


In order to obtain the kind of knowledge necessary for her work, Marion found that she had ultimately to perform her own dissections on the human body. The result is "Essentia", one of her most important works, which she created at UCLA School of Medicine under the aegis of Anatomy Professor, David S. Maxwell, Pj.D.. This one-half-size bronze depicts a graceful and lively young womanin the contradictory state of skinlessness and aliveness. Conceived in the tradition of Leonardo da Vinci, it is a remarkably accurate anatomical study displayed as artistic expression. In this she reveals her own belief structure of the beauty of the human form and the clarity of our physical and spiritual selves. Dr. Armand hammer donated this work to the Columbia University School of Medicine.


For the study of portraiture, Marion went to the master, Auguste Rodin. For the better part of a year she made studies at the Leland Stanford Museum, Stanford University, which houses the largest privately owned collection of Rodin's work in the world. She wanted to expand, to see as he saw. Surrounded by his powerful energy, she found to her great surprise, that the Master was superb anatomist who worked with a hard exactitude and that these elements are readily overlooked behind the great psychological force and presence in his figures.


The artist does not isolate her work from her life. She is an ardent student of the writing and thought of Jung and uses herself a her own best psychological laboratory. She is moved by the primordial and mythical images she sees in people, in their interactions and in their world affairs, and these form the basis of her concepts, whether these concepts are light or dark in valance.


Ms. Young taught sculpture privately for three years, touching the work of many artists in Southern California. She also taught Anatomy by Dissection for Artists at UCLA.


After living for many years in Los Angeles, Marion moved to Ashland, Oregon, the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival whose multiple theaters enjoy an extremely successful 10 month's season. For four years, the artist had her studio at one end of the Old Scene Shop on the Festival complex, surrounded by oversized props, costumes, stage models, supplies and miscellany in transit. Her visitors and unofficial colleagues were the "family" of technicians, actors, directors and staff, all drawn to the magic of storytelling on the stage. She completed two versions of her high relief, "Street Scene" (a 4'x9' resin version for an elegant retirement center in Marietta, Georgia and 4'x14' bronze version for the City of Ashland); "Henry Woronicz as Vincent Van Gogh" (one is on display in the entrance to the Ashland Library); and the major work on "The Hero's Journey" in this creative ambiance and in collaboration with some of the Festival's finest actors.



Added note: The majority of the work that Marion still had in her possession was donated and is on display at the Southern Utah Museum of Art, with many thanks to Harriet. Currently, we are hoping to place a wax bust of one of the figures in Street Scene and the almost finished "The Hero's Journey" at the Ashland Library as well.


Newest Update

Journal entry by Robyn Michele Jones

Today I am thinking of Marion as I type in the biography she wrote back in the 80's. I am impressed by her depth of passion and commitment that was still so apparent in these last 10 years that I have been caring for her. She was brilliant, she was difficult and self-centered, she was beautiful in all ways and delighted in beauty. She was intuitive and keenly observant. She loved to watch families and children, warmed by their interactions. She was warm, charming, kind, and had a delightful laugh. And she loved ice cream and hot chocolate.

Her favorite childhood memories that she shared often were of traipsing through the redwood forest of the Oakland hills with their family dog Bruce. I like to think that is where she is now. Happy and free. Blessings Be.
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