Beatrice Wood Biography

Beatrice Wood




Beatrice Wood (Beato) was born March 3, 1893 and moved to New York shortly thereafter. At age 7 she was sent to a convent school in Paris and, back in New York in 1905, she attended finishing school and studied at Bryn Mawr. In 1910 she attended the Julién Academy and, in 1919 moved to lead the Bohemian life in Paris. She returned to the U.S. with the outblreak of WWI in 1914 and joined the French Repertory Company where she played 60 roles in two years.

In 1916 she met Marcel Duchamp and formed a lasting friendship. He introduced her to the New York Dada group and published one of her drawings in Rogue magazine. She began a series of exhibitions and experimentation with the arts and philosophy.

In 1928 she moved to Los Angeles where she studied and exhibited ceramics and in 1948 she moved her studio to Ojai, California and began working with the Happy Valley Foundation, a school founded by Aldous Huxley, Khrishnamurti and others. It is here she developed her glazing techniques that would make her famous. She continued to exhibit through the 1950’s and in 1961 takes her first of numerous visits to India where she also photographed folk art and lectured.

The 1960’s, 70’sand early 80’s are filled with retrospectives and traveling exhibitions of her ceramics and drawings, organized by various institutions. Beatrice Wood wrote an autobiography titled “I Shock Myself” that was published by Dillingham Press, Ojai, California in 1985.

Beatrice Wood died in Ojai on March 12, 1998 at age 105.