Barry Morentz

Mark Van Stone

Mark taught the following Workshops at Legacies III:
Versals & White Vine Decoration

Mark Van Stone, Ph.D., G.F. Professor of Art History, Southwestern College

Dr. Van Stone received his undergraduate degree in Physics and worked in the gamma-ray astronomy laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, until lured away to self-employment as a calligrapher and carver. He established himself as an expert in calligraphic paleography and the evolution of written forms, teaching and lecturing widely on the subject for the next twenty years.

A lifelong autodidact, he constantly seized opportunities to study in the reading rooms and storerooms of libraries and museums throughout the world. A stint as a clay-animator at Will Vinton Studios, and study with netsuke carver Saito Bishu Sensei in Kawaguchi, Japan, focused his sculptural skills. A Guggenheim Fellowship took him around the world, studying manuscripts and inscriptions of many nations, from Medieval Europe to the hieroglyphs of Egypt and­­­ Central America. His unique approach to understanding any craft: practicing it. There is something one learns by actually making an artwork that one can learn no other way. Mark’s unique combination of scientific training, passion for beauty and calligraphic expertise has bestowed profound insight all these diverse traditions.

In the 1980’s he began to focus on the most complex and little-understood script, Maya Hieroglyphs, entered the University of Texas graduate school under the renowned Linda Schele, and earned his Ph.D. in 2005. During this time, he co-authored Reading the Maya Glyphs with archaeologist Michael Coe – the standard introduction to the topic. He is presently Professor of Art History at Southwestern College, and in 2010 published the book, “2012 – Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya”. He is presently putting finishing touches on a catalog of Ancient Maya ceramic molds in Guatemala.