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Art about Authors

The Oracle of Bronzeville:
Gwendolyn Brooks

Chicago Literary Hall of Fame
Chicago Park District

See extensive information about the creation, the installation, and celebrations.

The Oracle of Bronzeville: Gwendolyn Brooks 2019 Encaustic, 4' x 4' With Nora in the studio

The sculpture installed

Ernest Hemingway
Oak Park Art League Residency

Margot drew and sculpted a young Ernest Hemingway, imagining his actions as he wrote "A Farewell to Arms." Her quest was to make a non-violence statement: her book group read and discussed his book, bring her a better understanding.

Paintings and drawings were created to inform the sculpture portrait.

A Corona #3 typewriter, like the one Hemingway used, was lent by Peritz Brothers Stationary for the duration of the Oak Park Art League installation.

At the Oak Park Art League Drawing on Knowledge The Tip of the Iceberg
Hemingway's Hands
The Minimalist
Hemingway Writing Farewell to Arms
Farewell to Arms Encaustic

Hemingway in clay Ernest Hemingway
Art about Authors over the years Michelle Obama on Gwendolyn  Brooks Middle school

This portrait of Michelle Obama is part of a mural on Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School in Oak Park, Illinois.
  Richard Wright
Richard Wright at Arts Club of Chicago. 12" x 18"C

The bust of Richard Wright has been displayed in various venues, including the Arts Club of Chicago.

This Shaw family portrait includes Hyde Park poet, Alice Hayes who founded Ragdale Foundation to enable artists and writers to create art through residencies. Prairie Roots: Alice Ryerson Hayes

Prairie Roots: Alice Hayes, 6’h x 5’w x3’d, 1998, steel, plaster, Fondu ciment, mixed media drawing, poems and frames. Exhibited at Ragdale, Hyde Park Art Center, Northern Indiana Center for the Arts, and Prairie Crossing.

  Irene Leahy


Irene Leahy, created at Ragdale.

  Julie Otsuka


Faulkner awarded and National Book Award finalist Julie Otsuka is a novelist who likes to write with lists. She and Margot have been friends for decades. Julie is a New Yorker but well suited to join Chicago writers on this page.


The figure and organic form interpreted in geometric rhythms are what Margot McMahon models in clay and casts in metal and concrete, welds in steel or carves in stone. Her work is a rhythm of lights and shadows playing over textured surfaces of forms which refer to the every person as the hero. She has been called the Studs Terkel of the Sculpting world for her humanistic interpretations. Captured in seated poses or walking stances, her forms speak to us of both the endurance and the fragile nature of the human spirit. A lifelong environmentalist, McMahon views the human form as one with nature and creates symbols of this concept. Public sculpture commissions and museum and gallery exhibitions have been the core of Margot's work as an artist. She has exhibited her drawings and sculptures in Chicago, New York, Washington D.C, Sante Fe, Cincinnati and Connecticut. The Smithsonian, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago Horticultural Society and Botanic Gardens, and Yale University have her sculptures in their collections. Besides Chicago area collections her sculptures and drawings are included in private collections in New York, Florida, London, Paris, New York and Tokyo. When working on a public commission, Margot enjoys the process of 1) responding to a community; 2) researching the concepts of the sculpture; 3) intuitively interpreting the site; and 4) creating an informed and intuitive humanistic and expressive interpretation of the concept. Margot McMahon has taught sculpting and drawing at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, DePaul University, Yale University's Norfolk Summer School and assistant taught at Yale University while earning her MFA. She has been a board member of the Oak Park Area Arts Council and a founding commissioner on the Village of Oak Park Public Art Advisory Commission and contributes on a committee of the Ragdale Foundation.

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