Marianna Pineda
American artist



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Marianna Pineda
American artist

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Marianna Pineda lived a tearjerker love story and always stood up for powerful women.

Marianna was born with the surname Packard, but took Pineda after watching Frederico Garcia Lorca's play about Mariana Pineda's life. Mariana Pineda was a 19th century activist murdered by the Spanish crown for her efforts to aid the nation's liberal cause to bring justice to the people. These efforts included rigging a jailbreak for her cousin set to be executed for crimes against the corrupt state. Marianna, like Mariana, wasn't afraid of flipping the bird to the establishment and letting everyone know what was on her mind. If you'd like to see the sculptor in action, there's a documentary floating around somewhere called Search for the Queen. Pineda self-financed it as a record of her designing and casting the famed statue of Hawaii's last queen.

As a student, Marianna called some of America's best schools her home, including Berkeley and Columbia. That second school is where she met fellow sculptor and future husband Harold Tovish. Harold claimed that Marianna was so flawless that the single-and-ready-to-mingle members of the art department just assumed she had someone special in her life. Once Tovish got the inside track that her calendar was open, they got to talking and lived a happy life together. Then, in the mid-90s, cancer killed her. Tovish said he never finished an artwork after Marianna's death, because hers was the only opinion that mattered. And no, I'm not crying. I'm thinking about an onion I chopped the other day. It smelled so sad...


Known for portraying women as figures of strength and vitality, apparently Marianna Pineda was quite the figure of vitality herself. Fellow sculptor and husband Harold Tovish claims that she was so beautiful he and the other men in the art department at Columbia assumed that her dance card was full and wouldn’t ask her out. She spent a lot of nights at home as a result.

Google searches for Marianna results in a ‘Did you mean Mariana Pineda’ who was a Spanish patriot. No, Google, we know who we’re talking about.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Marianna Pineda

Marianna Pineda (1925–1996) was an American sculptor who worked in a stylized realist tradition. The female figure was typically her subject matter, often in a striking or expressive pose. Major work included an eight-foot bronze statue of the Hawaiian Queen Lili’uokalani, for a site between the Hawaii State Capitol and Iolani Palace, which she used as the subject matter of Search for the Queen, a 1996 documentary she produced on the life of her subject and the sculpture-making process. Other significant work includes the figure of a seated woman in The Accusative for a site in the Honolulu, Hawaii offices of the Commission on the Status of Women. Born in 1925, in Evanston, Illinois, Pineda made her first plasticine torso by eight years old, was teaching a summer camp art class by 15, as well as taking drawing lessons on the weekend. She attributed her early interest in sculpture to the many she saw at multiple World's Fair visits, as well as on travels with her mother to Greece and Egypt, both places where sculpture dominates.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Marianna Pineda.