Kelly, Mary (1 of 10).  National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2004-09-13, 2004-09-14

  • Recording locations

    The British Library, London

  • Interviewees

    Kelly, Mary, 1941- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    O'Ryan, Lydia, (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Tape 1: Side A: Mary Kelly's [MK] mother's German family background (daughter of jeweller, George Deutchman, married to Irish Catholic called Logue); father's Irish background and MK's Norwegian protestant grandmother. MK's sense of Irish cultural identity in Minnesota, United States. Recalls staying with parents at Almeida naval base. Remembers father's household; grandmother, Alice Larson's baking traditional Norwegian Lefse. Death of maternal grandmother, Margaret Logue. MK's parents Dorothy and Robert; remarks on death of MK's father's sister, Dorothy, and MK's mother's role as surrogate sibling. MK's memories of family holidays near Duluth, Minnesota; father's attitude to gender roles; comments on changing cultural attitudes to gender roles; grandmother's birth in Owatonna, Minnesota, her education and profession. MK's childhood, love of books like Louisa M. Alcott's 'Little Women'. Significance of Homer's 'The Odyssey' translated by Alexander Pope and MK's love of verse and drawing. Plot of MK's novel, aged nine. Comments on attitude to own Catholic education and significance of James Joyce's 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man'. Remarks on use of Latin in MK's artworks, 'Corpus', Post Partum Document', 'Gloria Patri', 'Mea Culpa'; role of Catholic Church in MK's education; comments on MK's son recent Coptic wedding. Effect of MK's success at school; anecdote about participation in school Madrigal and opportunity to travel; interest in Jazz. School's positive handling of MK's attitude to regulation; trips to Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis and passion for Abstract Expressionists, sees works by Mark Rothko and Franz Kline; dislike of figurative painters.

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