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Mary Michael Shelley

Folk Art Americana Painted Wood Carvings


Some of Mary Shelley's work found in Museum, Private or Public Collections, and other Highlights:

American Folk Art. Each piece one of a kind and original.


"Carving Out a Life: Reflections of an Ithaca Wood-Carver"
reprinted with permission from Voices: The Journal of New York FolkloreVol. 35:3-4,
Fall/Winter 2009. Copyright 2009 by New York Folklore Society.


"Barn Dance"
Absolut Vodka  Absolut Shelley Advertisement,
appeared in County Home Magazine, April 1990
The piece is in the Absolut Vodka Collection, NYC.

Its image is in the Absolut Book, author Richard Lewis.


"Sullivan's Diner IV, Waiter Holding Fried Eggs"
Carved and painted folk art americana picture.
In the permanent collection of Fenimore Art Museum,

New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, NY

In 1999 the New York State Historical Association celebrated its centenary with a show of works
from its permanent collection, one of which was the "Sullivan's Diner IV, Waiter Holding Fried Eggs"
piece. A New York Times art review of the show said this:

"If much of the 20th-century work in the show is fanciful, it also touches on real life in all its
bumptious oddity and warmth. Such is the case with the painted relief 'Sullivan's Diner IV' (1989)
by Mary Michael Shelley, 49, an artist from Ithaca, N.Y., who has a degree in English from Cornell
and is a practicing social worker.

"The piece, which conjures up 19th century shop signs and the
sculptures of the contemporary artist Red Grooms, depicts the interior of a local restaurant that
Ms. Shelley frequents. She chose the subject, she says, because restaurants are places
'where people, isolated during the rest of their day, could come together just to 'be' and
feel a sense of instant belonging.' " - Holland Cotter, July 15, 1999.

Here is the full New York Times article from which the above quote was taken.



"Sullivan's Diner Five, Waitress and Waiter at End of Day"
Carved and painted folk art americana picture.
In the permanent collection of the National Museum of Women and the Arts,
Washington, D.C..


Coca Cola Bottle with Artist.
Commissioned by Coca Cola for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics,
for their "Coke Art Folk Art" show at the 1996 Olympics.
Currently the piece is located at the

World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta, Ga.


American Folk art carved and painted picture

"Cows, Chicken and Horse at Dawes Hill Farm"

Image from show announcement

In the Permanent collection of the American Museum of Folk Art.

[An artist] “has to develop a consistent vocabulary of form, an individualistic
expressive lexicon…When you see the work, you just know it has to be the work
of that artist. Certainly that is true of her [Mary Shelley’s] work.
No one else does work anything like Mary Shelley’s.” 

-Gerard C. Wertkin, then director of the American Museum of Folk Art, New York City.
quoted in a Syracuse Herald American AP article (July 7, 1996).



"Cows and Falling Down Barn, Snow."
Carved and painted folk art americana picture.
In the Anthony Petullo Collection of Self-taught and Outsider Art.
"Mary's works are some of my favorite pieces in a collection of
more than 600 artworks. And they are among the most enjoyed
by visitors to my collection." - Anthony Petullo


"Edgemere Diner, Cups, Spoons and Forks"
Also in the Anthony Petullo Collection of Self-taught and Outsider Art.


 "Cow and Daffodil Buds"
Carved and painted folk art americana picture.
in the permanent collection of the High Museum,
T. Marshall Hahn Collection, Atlanta, Ga..


"Americans on the Move, Throw the Dog a Bone."
This piece (pictured on the original show postcard invitation) is in the collection of
The American Museum in Britain, John Judkin Memorial,
Bath, England.



Grainy photo taken of an online auction catalog showing
a farm piece that was owned by Carrie Fisher

and sold at auction upon her death.
Unfortunately this piece was left outside exposed to the weather for part of its lifetime,
something that acrylic artist paints cannot survive for long.


"Clinton House Renovation, Ithaca, NY"
Carved and painted folk art americana picture.
In the Collection of  Historic Ithaca.


Carved and Painted "Welcome to Ithaca" Sign located in the Tompkins County Airport.



See Portfolio, Work for Sale.
See examples of Commissioned Work.




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