In Memoriam: Mary Oliver

Longtime City art museum curator and manager passes away with 29 years of City service.

Information courtesy Cultural Affairs

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver, the longest current employee at Cultural Affairs’ Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) and longtime museum curator and manager, passed away. She had 29 years of City service.

She initiated and oversaw numerous programs that made a huge impact on the City.

As the Registrar for the Artist Slide Registry, Mary was instrumental in managing and developing this important resource for artists, curators and cultural institutions. Mary also managed the LAMAG archive whose records date to the Gallery’s founding in 1954. Mary’s immense knowledge of the gallery’s history has been vital in crafting programming, and acted as a resource to local, national and international research endeavors.

As the Curator at Henry P. Rio Bridge Gallery at City Hall, Mary oversaw exhibitions and worked with City Council Offices, various institutions and artists with professionalism and diplomacy. Bridge Gallery exhibitions showcase the work of artists enrolled in City art programs, as well as highlight the City’s Heritage Month celebrations. Mary took particular pride in curating the talented artists in the Department on Disability exhibitions.

Mary was instrumental in obtaining a grant for LAMAG’s Museum Education and Tours Program (MET) and Community Outreach Art Programs. Mary, with LAMAG Arts Instructor Marta Feinstein and others, taught at Shriners Children’s Hospital, middle schools, and afterschool programs. At Shriners, the students were children of all ages, many of whom were enduring serious medical treatments.

Mary’s steadfast leadership in education was critical in LAMAG’s partnership with Occidental College’s signature InternLA Summer Program. Since the inception of the program, Mary provided exemplary educational and professional opportunities as a mentor to Oxy students.

The Club sends its condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Mary Oliver.