Marian Locks, variously described as the “doyenne” and “mother” to Philadelphia trained and educated artists, was a pioneer who founded one of the first galleries in Philadelphia devoted exclusively to contemporary art. Beginning in 1968, the Marian Locks Gallery provided a showcase for new and emerging local artists and her gallery space on Walnut Street in Center City became a nexus for young artists and collectors to gather and share ideas.
Marian established a core group of local artists, introducing their work to national audiences. These artists included Edna Andrade, Thomas Chimes and Warren Rohrer as well as assisting the careers of painters such as Diane Burko, John Moore and Elizabeth Osborne among many others.
In 1990, Marian retired and her daughter-in-law, Sueyun Locks became the director in the newly acquired Washington Square gallery space.
In the past twenty years Marian and her husband Jerry lived in Florida, but she remained a valuable advocate and supporter for Philadelphia and Miami art institutions, that had been lifelong interests.
In her long and vibrant life devoted to the arts, Marian’s contributions were recognized by many institutions including a 1994 Mayor Edward Rendell Arts and Culture Award; Art Matters Award, Excellence in the Arts; The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Distinguished Service Award (1995); 1990 Honorary Doctorate Degree in Fine Arts by Moore College of Art and Design; a Hunt Doctorate Award for Outstanding Women in the Arts; and a 1998 Founders Award from Fleisher Art Memorial.