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Marie de Hoa LeBlanc
Newcomb College Newcomb Ceramicist
(New Orleans, LA, 1874 - 1954, New Orleans, LA)
Marie LeBlanc was an artist, painter, designer, and art teacher, best known for her ceramic work while at the Newcomb Pottery. Born in New Orleans on November 23, 1874 to Creole parents, LeBlanc was one of five children. She was very close to her older sister, Emilie, who also worked for the Newcomb Pottery.
Marie LeBlanc graduated from Newcomb College with a Diploma in Art in 1898 and, later, with a Bachelor of Design in 1921. Of all the early Newcomb potters, LeBlanc seems to have been awarded the greatest number of prizes. She was the recipient in 1902 of a hundred and fifty dollars given anonymously to be used to travel to Harvard for the Ross lecture series; in 1904 she received five hundred dollars for European travel and study, also given anonymously; she was the third recipient of the Ipswich, Massachusetts summer scholarship; she received a medal at the Saint Louis Exposition from the fine arts jury.
She is listed in the school catalog as an art craftsman from 1909-13. Miss Sheerer said of her in 1938: "Her work is characterized from the beginning by care and thoughtfulness and her close application to it, her continued study from nature during the summer vacation, as well as her travels have meant steady growth for herself and an increased value to the pottery."
In the words of Adrienne Spinozzi, Associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Marie de Hoa LeBlanc was a versatile and gifted artist, and the range of wares she made at Newcomb Pottery attest to her mastery in the decorating studio.” LeBlanc, she writes, exhibited an ability to design detailed compositions in the round and her keen precision when incising the clay. “In addition to her noted floral designs, in 1902 LeBlanc designed a series of vases depicting animals in repeating patterns. These works drew critical attention at the time they were made and continue to be coveted by astute collectors today.”
LeBlanc worked as a decorator at Newcomb Pottery for about ten years, but continued making art all the way up her death. Marie de Hoa LeBlanc died at Mercy Hospital on April 16, 1954. Three months after her death, an advertisement for sale of her estate in the Times Picayune stated the lot was one of “Louisiana’s earliest families outstanding in art.” The LeBlanc family, it read, were “eminent artists”.