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Mary Gregory (aka Molly)

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Mary Gregory

American, (1914–2006)
Bennington College
Black Mountain College

Majoring in sculpture, Gregory was a member of the first graduating class of Bennington College in 1936. She began her teaching career as an elementary school instructor of sculpture and drawing at the Cambridge School in Weston, Massachusetts. Her roommate at Bennington, Ruth Bailey, went on to Black Mountain College, and Gregory soon followed. Gregory received a fellowship in 1941 as an Apprentice teacher in the Plastics Workshop and as a student of Josef Albers. At Black Mountain College, Gregory thrived and became an instructor in woodworking from 1941 to 1947.
As a female instructor, Gregory took on several roles when her fellow male teachers were drafted into WWII. In her tenure, Gregory worked on many important projects throughout the College, including construction projects like the Studies Building and the creation of the furnishings for the Quiet House, a memorial space designed and built by Alex Reed in memory of Mark Dreier, son of Theodore and Barbara Dreier.
A leader at the college, Gregory took charge of the woodworking shop, which enabled students to build furnishings for their own use and to contribute furnishings to the College in general. Gregory was an advocate for the College's work program, which she directed during the school year and in the summers. Since Gregory was raised on a farm in Framingham, Massachusetts, she naturally took on farming projects at BMC, including the renovation of the farm house, management of the farm's books, and, at one point, ran the farm. She was a member of the Board of Fellows until she left Black Mountain College. After her tenure at the College, she pursued her own woodworking business ventures first in Vermont and then in Massachusetts and accepted private commissions.
Theodore Dreier was the first Treasurer of Black Mountain College and lived there from 1933-1949. He also served as Rector, taught mathematics and physics, and was an instrumental figure in raising funds to keep the College in operation. The proposed furniture is being donated by his son, Theodore Dreier, Jr., and his daughter, Barbara Dreier, Jr. These works are personal to the Dreier family and were used as furnishings in their home. The family recalls Barbara Jr. playing with Buckminster Fuller at this dining room table. Gregory’s ingenuity is evident in the versatility of the stools, which can be used as either tables or chairs.
Examples of Gregory’s furniture have not been identified yet in any museum collections. However, her work has been included in two exhibitions: Black Mountain College: Shaping Craft + Design at the Black Mountain College Museum in 2014 and The Maker’s Hand: American Studio Furniture, 1940 to 1990 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 2003, for which there was an accompanying publication.

Artist Objects
Lazy-J Chair


Lazy-J Chair


















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