Marian Cannon Schlesinger is a landscape and portrait painter, as well as author and illustrator of childrenís books. A contributor to newspapers and magazines, Ms. Schlesinger is also the author and illustrator of Snatched from Oblivion: A Cambridge Memoir. Born in Franklin, New Hampshire, she was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her father, Walter Cannon, was a Professor of Physiology at Harvard University. After graduating from Radcliffe College, as an aspiring artist, she studied art in China for a year. Ms. Schlesingerís work has been exhibited at the Boston Public Library, the Boston Museum of Science, the Museum of American Textile History, and the Octagon House in Washington, D.C.
As a child, Marian Cannon Schlesinger watched the mills pass the window of the car as she accompanied her family to their summer home in Franklin, New Hampshire. Inspired by a course about the American landscape taken at Harvard University, in 1973 Ms. Schlesinger began to create a series of watercolors and drawings of textile mills across New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Spending several spring and autumn seasons traveling the countryside, she looked at the mills with new appreciation. Taking notes in the field, the artist returned to her home in Cambridge to create the watercolors. These works show the influence of her artistic training in China, while also reflecting a nineteenth century approach to artistic rendering. Intimate views of mill towns, the scenes are enveloped in mists of color, echoing the smoke of the furnaces and the rich red-brown of the brick, softening the quality of the line drawings.