Marie Levering Benson
American Newcomb College Newcomb Ceramicist
(Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, 1877 - 1958, New Orleans, Louisiana)
Marie Levering Benson was born in Louisiana November 1877. Benson enrolled as a Special Art student in 1904–1906, a degree designed to train students to become teachers. Benson’s studies focused on arts education, and her facility for pottery decoration was immediately recognized by Newcomb professors. Benson was awarded the Newcomb Art School’s traveling scholarship in 1906 and spent the summer studying with Arthur Wesley Dow in Ipswich, Massachusetts. When she returned to Newcomb she completed the Normal Art course.
Benson moved to Washington, D.C. in 1908 after accepting a teaching position at the National Arts and Crafts School. The following year she became an instructor in Design and Ceramics at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. Remembering the lessons of the Pottery enterprise, she drew inspiration from her surroundings and experimented with Kansas’s native clays to produce her pottery. Unspecified samples of her work were shown at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.
Benson remained in Lawrence until 1920, when she returned to New Orleans and married at the age of 42.
Marie Levering Benson Mollere died on November 12, 1958 at the home of her stepson, Jefferson Parish political figure, Jules G. Mollere.