Gwen Stone Biography

Gwen Stone




Gwen Stone, artist, poet and playwright was born Guinevere Sasso in 1913, in Manhattan, New York. Early interest in the arts was encouraged by her parents, and in her early pursuit of theater she took the name Gwen Stone as her stage name. Her family relocated to San Francisco, the city of her mother's birth, around 1929. Upon graduation from high school Stone enrolled at the College of Marin and the San Francisco Art Institute, studying design and drawing until she could no longer afford tuition.

By the mid 1930s she was working various jobs in San Francisco to support herself as she took on roles in the theater. She worked as a nightclub signer, hosted a radio program, and as a clerk in the fashion department at Macy's.

In 1937 she costarred with Baron Karl Heinrich Sylvester Bogislav Prinz von Buchau (who went by Karl Barron), a radio announcer, in a play at the Legion of Honor. They married not long after and had two children, and in 1945 they moved to Sausalito. There, Stone was able to establish a studio and continue to pursue art in what was then a burgeoning arts community. She joined the Marin Society of Artists, with whom she exhibited for several years.

Stone's career as an artist began to take flight once her transition into the Marin arts scene was established, and from her home base she was involved in exhibitions and other events throughout the Bay Area. She also began teaching painting, collage, and drawing at the College of Marin in the early 1960s, and took as position as an art book critic and interviewer for the quarterly Visual Dialog. In 1964 her first major solo show was held at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, and in 1977 a retrospective of her work was held at Solano College. By then she was exhibiting regularly with the women's art collective the Rap Group.

Stone and Barron relocated once more to Siskyou County in Northern California, where they built their own home and Stone's new art studio. She became a member of the Siskyou County Arts Council and organzied a variety of art and poetry events throughout the county, as well as participat in community theater. 

Gwen Stone died on March 26, 2007 at her bungalow in Siskiyou County.