Claire Millman Mahl Biography

Claire Millman Mahl





Claire Mahl (née Claire Millman), painter, printmaker, and teacher, was born to William and Anna Lechter Millman in New York City on 24 December 1917. Her formal art education began in the 1930s at the National Academy of Design, where she studied alongside Lee Krasner. At the Art Students League she studied with Harry Wickey, Charles Locke, and Thomas Hart Benton. In Benton’s class she met Jackson Pollack who encouraged her to attend the workshop of Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros. She became part of the “initial nucleus” of Siqueiros’ Experimental Workshop in New York in 1936 until going to work on the New York City WPA Art Project where she produced over thirty separate images, some in color. Her work was included in the 1938 exhibition Subway Art at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

During the 1940s, Mahl worked at the New York atelier of Fernand Leger and at the New School of Social Research with Meyer Shapiro. It was during this time that she began exhibiting her work and, in 1947, she had a solo exhibition at the ACA Gallery in New York. In the mid 1950s she moved to San Francisco and enrolled in the San Francisco Art Institute and studied with David Park. She was hired by the SF Art Institute as an instructor of drawing and painting in 1957.

In San Francisco she exhibited at the Key Gallery and the King Ubu Gallery. A solo exhibition of her work was mounted at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in 1963. Mahl exhibited at the Green Mountain Gallery, New York in 1973; Wilmington Museum Downtown Gallery, Delaware in 1976; Kathryn Markel and Robert Freidus galleries, New York, and the University of Northern Illinois at De Kalb in 1977. In 1984 her work was featured in the Rutgers Women Artists Series and she had her first painting show at the June Kelly Gallery, New York in 1987. Mahl's work has been featured in numerous group shows including the King Ubu Gallery commemorative exhibition at the Natsoulas-Novelozo Gallery, Davis, California in 1989. Additional group shows include Self Portrait: Tangible Consciousness, Rutgers University, 1987; Prints by Women, Associated American Artists, New York, 1986, and the Inaugural Exhibition, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 1983.

Early in her career Mahl explored her interest in book arts and teaching. She began making small books in the 1940s and, while in California in the 1950s, founded Artists' View magazine. In New York in the late 1960s she founded the Children's Underground Press and wrote and illustrated Tim Jim, Man from Outer Space in 1969.

Mahl taught at the Marian Hartwell School of Design, San Francisco,1956; Brooklyn College,1970-74; the Creative Women's Collective in New York in 1974; the Chicago Art Institute in 1977; and the College of Staten Island between 1980-88. She was the recipient of three MacDowell Colony Fellowships in 1945, 1977, and 1979; and Tiffany and Gottlieb Foundation Grants in 1980 and 1985, respectively.

The work of Claire Mahl is represented in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the University of Montana, Missoula; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Public Library, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Krannert Museum, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Claire Millman Mahl was married twice and can be found listed as Claire Glick and Claire Moore. Claire Millman Mahl Glick Moore died in New York on August 5, 1988.