Marina Núñez del Prado
Marina Núñez del Prado was one of the most widely acclaimed
sculptors of Latin America. Her work is characterized by rolling curves and bulk and by
the use of such spectacular materials as black granite, alabaster, basalt and white onyx,
as well a different native Bolivian woods. Among her outstanding sculptures White
Venus (1960), a stylized female body in white onyx, is among her most admired
works. Another famous work is Mother and Child, sculpted in white onyx. She was
inspired by Indian themes.
Marina Núñez del Prado was born in La Paz, Bolivia in
October 17, 1912. From early on, Marina studied the plastic arts. She admired the work of
Michaeangelo and that encouraged her to pursue a career as a sculptor. She studied at the
Fine Arts Academy in La Paz where she graduated in 1930. Between 1931-38 she taught
sculpture and artistic anatomy at the Academy. During that period, she won the post of
chair of sculpture and artistic anatomy at the Academy, becoming the first woman to be
appointed to that position.
In 1938 she left her post and traveled through Bolivia and
Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, the United States, Europe, and Egypt. Between 1940-48 she worked
and organized exhibitions of her work in the United States while on a scholarship. In 1946
Miners in Revolt, inspired by the miners in Bolivia's Potosí region, won a gold
medal in a New York exhibition. In 1948 she returned to Bolivia, finally settling down in
La Paz in 1958. By 1972 she moved to Peru where she lived with her husband, a Peruvian
Along her successful career she met outstanding artists such
as Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brancusi, poets Alfonsina Storni and Juana de Ibarbourou. She
was also a friend of the Bolivian writer Franz Tamayo.
In 1984 the house-museum of the Núñez del Prado Foundation
was officially inaugurated in La Paz in honor of Marina Núñez del Prado's parents.
Marina Núñez del Prado died in 1996. She left not only a
great collection of works but also the example of perseverance and dedicated work that
made her one of the most acclaimed sculptors of Latin America.
For additional information on Marina Núñez del Prado and
to see samples of her work, please visit the Casa Museo Nuñez del Prado.
Bibliography (Thomas E. Weil, Bolivia:
Chapter 8B. Other Arts., Countries of the World, 01-01-1991. * Robert J. Alexander, Robert
B. Batchelder, Richard S. Thorn, John A. Crow, BOLIVIA,., Vol. 4, Colliers Encyclopedia
CD-ROM, 02-28-1996. * Núñez del Prado, Marina. Eternidad en los Andes: Memorias de
Marina Núñez del Prado. Santiago, Chile: Editor Lord Cochrane. 1973.)
M. Núñez del Prado
Simón I. Patiño