Ann Morency Biography

Ann Morency



Painter, graphic artist, and cartoonist Ann Morency was born in New York City in 1927, and was sent to a Catholic boarding school in Canada for her education. However, as a teenager she found the school oppressive and ran away, returning to New York for a few years before relocating to San Francisco and taking a job at the I. Magnin Department Store. A chance encounter with a fashion designer and fellow employee, Marget Larsen, led to Morency's interest in fashion and graphic design. She took courses in drawing and design at the Academy of Advertising Art in 1948 and soon worked her way into the design department at I. Magnin's. In 1958 she founded an advertising agency with fellow designer Kathleen Fairfield, taking commissions for ads for famed local companies as Ghiradelli Chocolate, Tommy's Joynt, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

In the meantime, she studied painting and drawing on her own time and for several decades would exhibit throughout the Bay Area. In 1984 she was awarded a Reginald A. Fessenden Educational Grant to study in Japan, and she traveled throughout Japan, China, and Korea for the next few years to study traditional painting and printmaking techniques. Further awards included the National League of American Pen Women's Recognition of Achievement in Art award (1989) and a first-rank Sho-Dan degree in calligraphy from the Kampo Cultural Center in Tokyo (1994).  

Morency found inspiration in Abstract Expressionism as well as figurative styles. Her subject matter often addressed sociopolitical issues, particularly her abstract works, and she was a frequent attendee of anti-war marches in San Francisco. A series of paintings regarding the American internment of Japanese citizens during World War II is currently held in the Redwood City library. In the 1970s she began taking courses in sumi ink caligraphy and Chinese watercolor painting, which would become a dominant medium in her oeuvre, and her subject matter turned more frequently to the figurative.

In 1996, she and several other Bay Area Abstract Expressionists, including her former husband Frank Lobdell, were honored with a show at the Campbell-Theibaud Gallery in San Francisco, titled "The San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism", organized by Susan Landauer. Morency continues to live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Selected solo exhibitions: 
Art Exchange Gallery, SF, 2003
"North Beach Now", Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco, 1996
College of Notre Dame Art Gallery, Belmont, CA, 1979, 1984
Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, CA, 1981, 1991
Charles Campbell Gallery, San Francisco, 1982, 1983, 1984
San Jose City College Art Gallery, San Jose, CA, 1983

Selected group exhibitions:
74th Annual Painting & Sculpture Exhibition, San Francisco Art Association, SF Museum of Art, 1955
San Francisco Museum of Art, 1969
"Introductions", Charles Campbell Gallery, SF, 1975
Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, 1996
"Beauty Fierce as Stars: Groundbreaking Woman Painters, 1950s and Beyond", Mythos Fine Art, Berkeley, CA, 2014