The Waddington Family:
Three Generations of Artists
Friday, April 1, 2016, 6 – 9 PM
Music Provided by: Rob Huntley
Sponsor . Jeanne Waddington Campbell
MABEL P. WADDINGTON
1910 - 1998
Mabel Pancoast Waddington grew up in Woodstown NJ and lived her entire
adult life in Salem County NJ. She began her studies in fine art in 1927, first at
Philadelphia College of Art (now Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art) and then at
Philadelphia’s Fleischer Memorial and Graphic Sketch Club. During that time, she also
received her degree in nursing, graduating as an RN from Children’s Hospital of
Philadelphia in 1932. Although she loved her chosen career and was in great demand as
a nurse for nearly a half century, her true passion was art.
Mabel taught classes in oil painting for many years. She also continued her own
studies over the course of her lifetime. She was eager to learn new styles and media and
to improve her techniques. Some of the well known art teachers of her era under whom
she studied were Allan Frielan, Ben Eisenstadt, Will Barnett, Eo Amwake, Wendy
Hatch, Bruce Garrity and, locally and much later, under Pat Witt.
A charter member and past president of the Society of New Jersey Artists, Mabel
was awarded SNJA Woman of the Year in 1963, and in 1981 she was made an honorary
life member. She was a three-time First Place recipient in the painting division of the
NJ State Federated Women’s Clubs. One of the founding members of Salem County’s
Fenwick Sketchers, Mabel continued to paint and exhibit with them until her death.
Her work has appeared in numerous juried exhibits in New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
and Delaware, as well as in local showings at Society of NJ Artists, Wheaton Arts &
Cultural Center, and Gallery 50. The most rewarding artistic exposures for her,
however, came when she had the opportunity to participate in three-generational shows
with her daughter Mary, a fine art photographer, and her sculptor granddaughter
Mary Waddington is a self-taught photographer, having laid down her paint
brushes when she picked up a camera. Her work is inspired by her rural
surroundings of river, marsh and farmland and reflects enduring themes of the
simple life. She is drawn to people with the pioneering spirit of self-sufficiency,
sustainability and making do
Magazines containing Mary’s photographs include Early American Life,
Country, Nature Conservancy, Smithsonian Associates, Friends Journal and
Down Jersey. Books illustrated with her work include Natural Lives,
ModernTimes: People and Places of the Delaware River and Philadelphia
Juried exhibitions containing her photography included: National Trust for
Historic Preservation, Washington DC (purchase prize); National Preservation
Conference, SanAntonio TX; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Delaware
Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington; Perkins Center for the Arts,
Moorestown NJ; New Jersey Advocates for the Arts, Glassboro NJ; Maritime
Museum, Philadelphia; DaVinci Art Alliance Gallery, Philadelphia.
Awards include Certificates of Commendation from the League of
Historical Societies of New Jersey and the American Association for State and
Local History, and a research grant from the NJ Historical Commission for an
illustrated oral history project. Mary was project photographer for the Harrison
Township Historical Society’s multimedia, multiproduction “The Friendly Legacy,”
which was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
She was the official photographer for the Salem County Historical Society for 10
Mary is photographer and co-creator of several multi-media educational
programs on our local culture. Currently she and an audiographer/producer have
been creating short documentaries for Newsworks Tonight, Third Coast
Foundation, HereSay International, and other storytelling venues. She and her
daughter Debbie were recently featured on State of the Arts, which aired on
WHYY and NJ Public TV and can be viewed on the internet. This short doc
includes over 30 of Mary’s still photographs and portrays the distinctiveness of
each artist within the three generations of Waddingtons.
DEBORAH WADDINGTON SMITH
Deborah began sculpting as a young child. Mentored, but not taught, by her mother
and grandmother, both artists, she began by making her toys. She was a producing sculptor
by her teens, when she was entering juried shows and selling her art.
Her first apprenticeship, in 1980 at the age of 18, was with Mustafa Naguib of Chicago.
Under his tutelage she executed life-size human figures in the classical tradition and learned
the art of mold making. Two years later she received a commendation from the National
Sculpture Society, her winning sculpture appearing in the National Sculpture Review. That
year she began her studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, focusing on anatomy
and figurative sculpture. She also received tutorial in animal anatomy at the Field Museum.
She was awarded commendations from the James Wilbur Johnston Sculpture Competition at
the Corcoran School of Art, Washington DC, in both 1983 and 1984.
From 1987 until 1993 she was full-time designer/sculptor for the Franklin Mint. She
specialized in large-animal sculpts and created their wildlife series of endangered species.
She then began freelancing, working for them as well as most of the major porcelain
companies on the east coast. From 1992 to 2002 she was chief figurative designer/sculptor
for Hen Feathers & Company. She did a second apprenticeship from 1991 to 1993 with
Angelo Frudakis of Philadelphia, who also taught in the classical tradition.
Deborah has been represented in galleries across the country and her sculptures
appearing in private and public permanent collections here and abroad. She has been juried
into the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Port of History Museum, Moore College of Art,
Curtis Building, DaVinci Art Alliance Gallery and Woodmere Art Museum, all of Philadelphia;
the National Sculpture Society’s “Stallions, Ponies and Unicorns,” Park Avenue NYC; the
American Academy of Equine Art’s International Horse Museum, Lexington KY; and the NJ
Equine Artists’ Associations “The Art of the Horse” at the Johnson Gallery in Somerset NJ,
She has designed and sculpted two commissioned public monuments and is working
on the third. All are life-size and of three human figures. The first two bronzes are memorial
monuments, one in Abington PA and the other in Millville NJ. The work in progress is the
Delaware Bay Watermen’s Memorial to be installed in Bivalve NJ. Other commissioned
works include a mermaid prototype, a racing horse and large, deep bas reliefs of eagles.
Deborah and her husband Mark Quinnette live in a house along the Delaware River
that they designed, engineered and constructed themselves and then equipped and furnished
with repurposed treasures.