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Fuller [née Warrick], Meta Vaux  

Renée Ater

(b Philadelphia, PA, Jan 9, 1877; d Framingham, MA, 1968).

African American sculptor. Fuller combined her interest in the modernism of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin with a consideration of the personal and emotional expressivity of the Symbolist movement and the naturalistic handling of the human form of the Beaux-Arts tradition. Born Meta Vaux Warrick in Philadelphia, she studied at the Pennsylvania Museum and School for Industrial Art from 1893 to 1899. In September 1899 she traveled to Paris and for three years she pursued her studies at the Académie Colarossi. In the spring of 1902 she visited Rodin at his studio in Meudon and received praise from him for Silent Sorrow (c. 1900; Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA). While in Paris she exhibited a group of her sculptures at Siegfried Bing’s La Maison de l’Art Nouveau, and she showed The Impenitent Thief (c. 1900; lost) and The Wretched (c. 1902; Goldendale, WA, Maryhill Mus. A.) at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. She returned to Philadelphia in October 1902 and continued to model clay, plaster, and wax. At the Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition she was awarded a gold medal for the Warwick Tableaux (1907; lost), twelve dioramas with plaster figurines that traced black history from slavery to the modern period. In 1909 she married Solomon Carter Fuller and settled in Framingham, MA. A year after her marriage, a devastating warehouse fire destroyed nearly all of her sculpture. Heartbroken, she began the process of creating new work, much of it focused on Black, political, and religious subject matter. At the request of W. E. B. Du Bois, she created ...