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|1976 24 Apr
||The passing of Mark George Tobey (b. December 11, 1890 Centerville, Wisconsin – d. April 24, 1976 Basel, Switzerland) [Bahá'í News page 341, Wiki, VV119]
He had been introduced to the Faith by Bernard Leach. [OPOP223]
Another version is that In 1918 Mark Tobey came in contact with Juliet Thompson and posed for her. During the session Tobey read some Bahá'í literature and accepted an invitation to Green Acre where he converted. [Seitz, William Chapin (1980). Mark Tobey. Ayer Publishing. p. 44]
Tobey was one of the twentieth century’s most cosmopolitan of artists. An inveterate traveler—he eventually settled in Basel, Switzerland—he was always better known in Europe than in his homeland.
His mature ‘white writing’ works are made up of pulsing webs of lines inspired by oriental calligraphy, explicitly acknowledged the direct influence of the Bahá'í Faith on his painting. It has been said that Tobey “made line the symbol of spiritual illumination, human communication and migration, natural form and process, and movement between levels of consciousness.” He often stated, “that there can be no break between nature, art, science, religion, and personal life".
See Bahá'í World 1994-95 pg248 for an article by Anne Boyles entitled "The Language of the Heart: Arts in the Bahá'í World Community" for mention of Mark Tobey.
For his obituary see BW17:401–4.
Towards the end of his life, Tobey was the recipient of some of the highest distinctions that the European art scene of his time could bestow. He won the gold medal at the Venice Biennale in 1958—the first American painter to do so since 1895. In 1961, a major retrospective of his work was held at the Louvre in Paris, an unprecedented achievement for a living and American artist.
See The Journal of Bahá'í Studies, Volume 26, number 4 – Winter 2016 p94 for an article by Anne Gordon Perry entitled Anne Gould Hauberg and Mark Tobey: Lives Lived for Art, Cultivated by Spirit.
An exhibition, Mark Tobey: Threading Light showed at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 6 May to 10 September 2017 and at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, 4 November 2017–11 March 2018.
An example of some of his works.
||Centerville; Wisconsin; United States; Basel; Switzerland
||In Memoriam; Mark Tobey; Bernard Leach; Anne Gould Hauberg; Arts; Painting