Frances Gimbutas 1

Birth, Death, and Regeneration: Marija Gimbutas beholds the Bird and Snake Goddesses of Old Europe by Rose Wognum Frances

Paint on wood and canvas, gold leaf, incised copper, sculpted clay vessels 47"H x 27"W x 4"D with doors open 2001


Rose's artwork has been shown internationally since 1972, in museums and galleries including the American Craft Museum, NYC, the Corcoran, and the Smithsonian. From 1975-1985, she was Fine Arts faculty at Florida International University. In 1985, she moved to San Francisco as a full-time studio artist. She presented seminars at many Bay Area colleges, including SF City College, Stanford University, and California Institute of Integral Studies. Rose was Director of Women's Spirituality at CIIS from 1994-1997. In 1998, she founded an MA Program at New College SF. In 2001, she returned to her work as a studio artist. Rose taught at CIIS until 2010.



In 1969, when I was 18, I was no longer satisfied with the elegant drawings for which I was receiving high praise from my professors. I remembered my early awareness of a spirited flame within great works of art, a spark awakening an answering flame within me. I longed to find a way to transmit the intuitive spark from within my own spirit into artworks I created, and touch the hearts of others. There was no map for this journey. I created guidelines for my process. I used unfamiliar materials. One day, I sat on a hillside, holding a ball of clay, cold, damp and heavy in my hands. As I thrust my thumb into the clay, my entire being was swept into the cool darkness within. I felt the dense clay pressing against my body, its earthy scent filling my pores. Ever so slowly, I began to move my arms upward, struggling against the enclosing heaviness. Calling on all of my strength, I slowly opened a small space in which to turn slightly, raising my arms again, repeating my movement in a circle. As the earth opened around me, I felt exhilaration, growing into a dance of joy as I spun in the ever-widening sphere.

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