Snowden’s bronzes are known internationally as the Geological Coreium. Arguably, the Coreium is the largest body of bronze to be forged and collected in the latter half of the 20th century and at the millennium. The world winner of the International Rodin Competition in Tokyo, Snowden’s art is found in public and private collections worldwide.
While each bronze is a complete and intrinsic tour de force of craftsmanship, the collections of the Geological Coreium create a unified whole. The Coreium invites you to explore each bronze independently while contemplating its aesthetic and conceptual relationship to the larger oeuvre.
The Geological Coreium ranges across more than ten chapters of bronze that vision earthly and interstellar space. Each bronze takes its name and shape from contemporary science that describes planetary and cosmic phenomena. As one critic comments, “Yet the work clearly defies its program. The power of Snowden’s bronze has a universal reach that extends the fingerprint of humankind. The Coreium translates humanity into an unfading bronze hallmark of our time at the millennium.”
In these pages, scholars explore Snowden's ethos and artistic prerogatives, lending insight into the thoughts and working methods of a foremost master figurative sculptor of the 21st century.
“For over thirty years, Mary Louise Snowden has dedicated herself to the art of sculpture. The Geological Coreium invites us to enter sculpture’s manifold portrait that has at last come to be shaped at the millennium.”
Dr. Guy Westbrook, Author and Arts Commentator
M.L. Snowden’s sculpture collection, THE GEOLOGICAL COREIUM, stands as a unique statement in American and International art. It is a tour de force of sculptural construction and conception that shapes a new plateau for the metallurgical science of lost wax bronze. In Snowden's world, the message of sculpture is fused to its medium. Projecting an expansive and cohesive meditation on the melding of science and art, these works form perhaps the largest body of bronze produced at the millennium.
Coming into an exhibition space, we are able to meet Snowden’s sculptures selected from an extensive oeuvre that encompasses monumental to smaller scale bronze editions. The retrospective showcasing of these works allows us to consider the magnitude of M.L. Snowden’s sculptural program in terms of the scope of the bronzes; the impact and protean vision of these sculptures as seminal works; and above all, as an opportunity to appreciate first hand, Snowden’s engineering genius that draws these works from the theoretical plane into the actual life of being. Indeed, these are sculptures that create physical thresholds that invite us into the conceptual depths of their unique geological perspective underlying their dimensional impact. Above all, THE GEOLOGICAL COREIUM speaks to humankind’s influential presence within and upon the environment.
By nature, the obdurate medium of bronze permits the art of sculpture to endure intact for centuries. In future histories that may seek to identify key hallmarks of the period, THE GEOLOGICAL COREIUM will no doubt pace forward as that body of work that has distilled the Petroleum Age through the lens of a profound artistic insight. While the geological vision began for Snowden decades before present environmentalism reached critical international attention, the impact of evolving science within the sculptor’s lifetime left its mark. Looking back, the program of the COREIUM was advanced early on in the sculptor’s consciousness through a study of geological science that began in the early 70’s; a geological science that propounded an increasing awareness of the Earth and cosmos as living entities subject to the same stasis and life cycles as humankind extending to biological organisms. Indeed, contemporary science confirms what great sculptors of history have known all along: marble, clay, and bronze are living substances. “The geological program is a stepping stone,” comments Snowden. “The heroic possibilities of man; the risks and courage of striving; the fire and passion of creative enterprises; the spiritual force of men as they struggle for the actuation of their plans and work; these horizons are bundled into the sinew of the clay.”
For over two decades in a lifetime immersed in sculpture, Snowden has pursued bronze as an expression of the forces which mold and shape existence. The steps that go into creating bronzes within the foundry setting are seen by Snowden as a microcosm of accelerated processes happening deep within the earth. Within this perspective that continuously unleashes new work, the sculptor has seen the very substances and mediums of sculpture as octaves of geological phenomena, with humankind expressing a naturally occurring biomorphic summary of mass related energy inherent within the earth materials of clay and bronze. Indeed, these dramatic works are maps of exploration into phenomena that accrete and condense the universal forces and elements of creation into evocations of physical substance, humankind, and light.
“Snowden is a genius imbued with a rare sculptural ability; born to it and dedicated to its unfolding.”
A. Hyatt Mayor, Curator Emeritus, Metropolitan Museum of Art
International art critic, Remo Nevi describes M.L. Snowden as a “Great figurative contemporary master whose profound and powerfully realized portfolio places the artist among the world’s most respected representational sculptors at work today.” In 1989, Snowden was awarded the inaugural Alex Ettl Grant for "Lifetime Achievement in American Sculpture," presented by America's most senior professional arts organization, the National Sculpture Society in New York.
In 1992 Snowden won the world’s most prestigious sculpture prize, The International Rodin Competition in Tokyo, Japan, hosted in cooperation with the embassies of Belgium, Finland, France, Israel, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, The United States and thirty other countries.
M.L. Snowden is the sole living inheritor of select 19th century marble carving, finishing, casting and bronze patination techniques from the Paris studios of Auguste Rodin and Antonin Mercié. M.L. Snowden sculpted alongside her father for seventeen years as an apprentice and as a professional in Snowden Studios. In 1990, M.L. Snowden inherited a collection of 38 of the original sculpting tools from the Rodin Studios. Rodin’s tools were bequeathed to M.L. Snowden’s father by the Swiss sculptor, Robert Georges Eberhard, who was Chairman of the Yale School of Sculpture for almost fifty years and was a professional in Rodin’s studios in the latter part of the 19th century. Eberhard was a mentor to the sculptor’s father, George H. Snowden, N.A. (1901-1990); Who Was Who In American Art. G.H. Snowden was a sculpture educator at Yale University for many years and his extensive list of commissioned sculptures now constitute national historic landmarks. The Smithsonian Institution held a retrospective which featured Snowden sculpture, SCULPTURE IN THE FEDERAL TRIANGLE.
Over the last two decades, M.L. Snowden has pursued sculpture as an expression of titanic geological phenomena and the impact of mankind on his environment. In 1998 M.L. Snowden was awarded the massive multi-million dollar Carano Gordon Atlanta Commission to create the sculptor’s vision for the largest cohesive body of bronze extant in the latter half of the 20th century. In this collection, notable explorations into extrusion, inclusion, advanced gravity pour techniques, innovative chasing protocols, recombinant jeweler and bronze techniques are forwarded. Snowden’s restructuring of proprietary historic wax and patina formulations as well as other ground-breaking techniques for the art and science of bronze metallurgy have been advanced. In Snowden’s GEOLOGICAL COREIUM, the fine art of bronze is shaped, redefined and celebrated. An ongoing 16 City national tour of M.L. SNOWDEN: THE LEGACY OF RODIN has been made possible by Advanstar International Art Group, Masterpiece Publishing Inc. and other sponsors.
In the year 2000, Snowden was commissioned to create the GREAT ANGELS OF THE MAIN ALTAR for the new $200 million Los Angeles Cathedral from a field of 8,000 international portfolios. In addition, Snowden is the sculptor of the LOS ANGELES ANGEL FRIEZE for the Cathedral’s Visitor’s Center, the first representation of a group of Angels for a permanent public setting in the history of the City of Los Angeles. Most recently, M.L. Snowden was awarded the inaugural Presidential Order of Merit “In Recognition of Significant Contributions to the Betterment of Humanity Through Art,” presented by the Fine Art Foundation with the sculptor’s work recently added to the Presidential art collection at the White House. The sculptor maintains studios in southern California, Paris and Austria.
Harvard University’s Michael Miller, National Marketing Director Emeritus of Butterfields / Ebay writes, “These are historic works that uncannily unite expressionism’s great inner explosions and outward cataclysms with Europe’s golden age. M.L. Snowden’s art is a glorious fusion - the summary of our age superceded by the vitality of a moment.”
Welcome to the M.L. Snowden Library composed of books, monographs, folios and catalogues dedicated to Snowden sculpture authored from 1992 to present by noted scholars, critics and fine arts authorities.
The content of this website is drawn from Snowden's bound catalogue raisonné, RETROSPECTIVE/ M .L. SNOWDEN published by Göethe-Verlag, Berlin.
Additionally, the library also archives M.L. Snowden's filmed public lectures and interviews in DVD format. Archival materials are accessed by appointment. Please contact Hagel·Coulter for further information. The following titles are randomly selected from the complete card catalogue inventory.
View The Legacy of Rodin Historic Newsletters:
Volume 1, Issue 1
Volume 2, Issue 1, Issue 2, Issue 3, Issue 4, Issue 5
The upcoming Snowden Rodin Arts Center, Pasadena, CA