Mark C. Luca Biography

Mark C. Luca




Painter, printmaker, writer, and musician Mark Luca was born in San Francisco, CA, in 1918. Son of artist and activist Jessey Dorr (1877 - 1978), he was encouraged from an early age to pursue art. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1940 from San Francisco State University and his MFA from Columbia University in 1948. A decade later, he would earn a Ph.D. in music education. Luca was known for his abstract portraits, as well as his images of scientific, historical, and literary figures. Among his commissions was a mural for the fine arts department of Columbia University (1948).
Luca taught at State University of New York, Potsdam, from 1948 - 1950; Sacramento State University, 1955 - '56; and University of California, Berkeley, 1958 - 1978. He was a member of the California Society of Printmakers from 1955 to 1968; the East Bay Art Association (president, 1981 - 1982); Center for the Visual Arts; the Oakland Art Association; and the California Writers Club (president of Berkeley chapter from 1984 - 1985). He illustrated several books and publications, among them Henry Evans' periodical Poems & Pictures (1954); Back to the Cave (1956 and 1958); and Seven Stages portfolio, Peregrine Press, SF (1959). He authored the educational books Understanding Children's Art (Charles Merrill, 1967); Art Education: Strategies (Prentice-Hall, 1968), and contributed to The Museum as Educator (UNESCO, 1973).

San Francisco State University Annual Painting Exhibition, 1940 & '41 (first prize in each)
Albany Institute of Arts, 1948
San Francisco Museum of Art, 1949 & 1957
Crocker Museum, 1956
Palace of the Legion of Honor Invitational, SF, 1961
Print, Painting, and Sculpture Exhibition, Richmond Arts Center, 1962, 1963, 1968, & 1971
Oakland Museum of Art, 1963, 1968
Panoras Gallery, New York (solo exhib.), 1966
U.S. Cultural Institute, Lima, Peru, 1980

Information partially gathered from Luca's bio on