Marjorie Daingerfield sculpture at Clark Gallery
It’s artwork or bust at Clark Gallery.
The Banner Elk gallery is now featuring a marble bust by the late Marjorie Jay Daingerfield, the daughter of celebrated artist Elliot Daingerfield.
Elliot Daingerfield, the well-known painter and illustrator, encouraged his daughter in art from a very young age.
At only 12, Marjorie had her first bronze sculpture cast. She spent her life honing this talent of creating busts, heads and small figure portraits.
She attended Solon Borglum’s School of American Sculpture and the Grand Central School of Art. She received many commissions over her lifetime from society leaders, businessmen, educators and actors. Her pieces of opera and stage performers include a bronze of the well-known dancer and choreographer, Martha Graham, and a porcelain piece of actress Dorothy Stickney, as well as Norman Cordon of the Metropolitan Opera. Her most recognized piece is the bronze statuette for the national Girl Scouts emblem.
Daingerfield divided her time between New York and Blowing Rock, where her father had built a home and studio. She taught at the School of American Sculpture and the Grand Central School of Art and lectured in North Carolina many times. She also wrote the book, “The Fun and Fundamentals of Sculpture.”
“Clark Gallery is pleased to have one of Marjorie Daingerfield’s marble busts,” Clark Gallery’s Amy Yawn said.
The bust is a stone portrait of the late High Country philanthropist, Mariam Cannon Hayes, as a young girl.
“This beautiful work belongs on display in the High Country, where Hayes gave so much of her time, energy and support, and where Daingerfield created so much of her work,” Yawn said.
Hayes’ contributions are numerous. She was heiress to the Cannon textile fortune and used her money to support music, health services, education and arts programs throughout the state.
She died in 2007, with her legacy living on locally through the Mariam Cannon Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University and Charles A. Cannon Jr. Memorial Hospital (named for her father). She and her husband, Robert Griffith Hayes of Charlotte, also helped create the now closed Mariam and Robert Hayes Performing Arts Center in Blowing Rock. She also gave her time to Lees-McRae and the Grandfather Home for Children.
She once told a journalist that she had 95 children — one at home and 94 at Grandfather. Her husband was the chairman of the Edgar Tufts Memorial Association, which managed the facility. She and her husband gave generously of their personal time to the children there.
Hayes lived in Concord and Blowing Rock and was a member of the Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church of Blowing Rock. Her husband preceded her in death in 1998. Her son is U.S. Rep. Robert Cannon Hayes.
Clark Gallery is located at 393 Shawneehaw Lane in Banner Elk. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday or by appointment.
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