BONNIE MCLEARY SCULPTURES FOR SALE & BIOGRAPHY
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Bonnie McLeary (sometimes spelled MacLeary) was the first Texas sculptor to have work in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was said to have molded her first sculpture with natural clay from the banks of the San Antonio River at age six. McLeary studied at the William Merritt Chase School of Art in New York, the Art Students League, the Academie Julian in Paris, and with James Earle Fraser, William-Adolphe Bouguereau and F. Luis Mora. She exhibited at the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the National Arts Club, and her work was included in "One Hundred Years of Sculpture in Texas" (1989).
After her husband went overseas to fight in World War I, she established a studio in New York City and devoted herself to sculpture. Her career was launched in 1921, when two of her sculptures were exhibited at the National Academy of Design. In 1924 her bronze statue Aspiration (1921) was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the first sculpture by a Texan to be acquired by that institution. McLeary suffered a temporary setback in 1927, when many of her works were destroyed in a studio fire. Her first marriage apparently ended in divorce during this period. Her career continued to gain momentum, however. In 1928–29 she exhibited two of her works, Squawkie Birds (1928) and Laughing Frog (1928), at the Woman's Arts and Industries Exposition, where the latter won first prize in 1929. She also exhibited her work at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, the Memorial Galleries in Rochester, New York, and the National Arts Club in New York City. In 1930 she was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design. She also became a member of the National Sculpture Society, the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, the Allied Artists of America, the American Artists Professional League, the Society of Medalists, and the Southern States Art League.
Her work is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Baylor University in Waco, and Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia.
Baylor University, Waco, TX
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Waco, TX
University of Puerto Rico, San Juan
Wesleyan College, Macon, GA
Witte Museum, San Antonio, TX