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Remembering Martha Longenecker, Artist, Mingei Museum Founder

Above: Martha W. Longenecker

Aired 11/4/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Martha Ehringer is a longtime volunteer and staff member at the Mingei International Museum.

Darlene Davies, arts supporter who taught at SDSU at the same time as Martha Longenecker.


Martha Longenecker, the founder of San Diego's Mingei International Museum, died last week at the age of 93.

Although she was an artist in her own right, she'll be remembered most for celebrating the work of others.

Mingei is a Japanese word that means "art of the people." The museum Longenecker created allowed its viewers to look at handmade everyday objects as the masterpieces they are.

Martha Ehringer is a longtime volunteer and staff member at the Mingei International Museum. She remembered Longenecker teaching her how to "see" objects in the museum.

"Martha said, the whole thinking behind the way we have objects displayed when 'we Mingei people' do it, is to see the object," Ehringer said.

"You don't have to read about it, you just have to look at it and see its beauty. It's why things are encased often alone. All you have to do is look at it."

Longenecker retired from the Mingei in 2005. Ehringer said she spent some of her time traveling to Japan and other places in pursuit of her passion for Mingei.

Enringer said Longenecker had just finished building a kiln and studio at her home.

"She was constantly building and creating," she said.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | November 4, 2013 at 9:02 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

She sounds like a gem of a woman.

Anyone who can bring a major arts venue to a city as lacking in vision, creativity, and civic spending as San Diego is awesome.

Thanks for making SD a better place, Ms. Longenecker.


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