Margaret Coe: "Mark Clarke and Margaret Coe: Our Lives in Paint"

Oct 25, 2017

Painter Margaret Coe in her home studio in Eugene, Oregon, October 2017
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen

Show: Viz City

Subject: Margaret Coe

Date of Interview: Oct. 19, 2017

Date of Broadcast: Wed. Oct. 25 , 2017

Script: Sandy Brown Jensen

Sound: Terry Way

RE: Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Gallery, Mark Clarke and Margaret Coe: Our Lives in Paint

which will show October 21, 2017 to April 01, 2018

Once upon a time there was a boy from Junction City who got his first blue ribbon in art at the Lane County Fair who fell in love with another artist and over the course of their fifty year marriage, both became world-class painters. I’m speaking of course, of the late great Mark Clarke and Margaret Coe.

"The first thought that I had after Mark died about the show is I hoped it would really cement his legacy as a major Oregon artist and landscape painter," said Coe.

Landscape by Mark Clarke
Credit Karin Clarke

You’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s Arts Review program. I’m talking to Margaret Coe about the retrospective exhibition currently at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art celebrating the half-century relationship of these two Eugene painters and soul mates. "I loved it that it was about us as an art couple because that is really what defined our lives," was Coe's observation.

There are some famous art couples such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe, but most of those are notoriously tempestuous. What was it like for these two local lovers? Margaret was enthusiastic, "It was wonderful! We were married for over fifty years, and we were actually an art couple from the start; and that is one of things that really surprised me. You know, you fall in love --I had gone to spend the summer in Europe, and then the next summer we got married, and right away, we were considered an art couple."

 

Margaret Coe, "Window View"
Credit Karin Clarke

Margaret and Mark had a decades long relationship with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum. She has deep feeling about this very special show and says, "The Museum you see, has always been a kind of constant in our lives <<13:35>> <<14:21>> It just seems like we’ve had this long relationship with the Museum, as we have had with Eugene, so it seems very emotional that we’re having this.

"I’m glad I’m more grounded with being a widow now because at first it just seemed unthinkable to do this show without Mark, you know, because it’s such a shock to your system to lose your husband, but it feels really... it feels like it’s really personal."

The story of Mark and Margaret’s love affair in paint will show through April 1, 2018. Viz City is co-produced by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.

A panoramic view of Margaret Coe in her very painterly home studio.
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen