Malcolm McClain Biography

Malcolm McClain




Malcolm "Mac" McClain (aka "Mac McCloud") was born in Los Angeles on March 13, 1923. McClain spent his early years in San Marino, CA. He served in WWII and received a Bronze Star and a battlefield commission for his bravery in battle. He returned to graduate from Pomona College and then began his life as a potter, painter, sculptor and poet. He taught at the Art Center in La Jolla. When he came to the Art Center in 1959, McClain had spent more than a decade in serious art studies around the world.

McClain was living in Tijuana when he recalls getting, "one of the luckiest breaks of my life:" a job running the ceramics program at what was then an up and coming institution, sympathetic to youthful contemporary artists.By this time, the 36 year old McClain had already lived a life fit for a Beat Generation novel that took him from the front lines in the Battle of the Bulge, to the artist Peter Voulkos's group of acclaimed students at the L.A. County Art Institute.

McClain went from La Jolla directly to Pomona College in 1964 where he taught sculpture and drawing. In 1965 he started in Ceramics at Cal State LA, where he taught until 1988, including a final two years as Department Chair.

Malcolm McClain died May 25, 2012 in Granada Hills, CA at age 89.