Biographical / Historical
Mary Swift (1929-) is a photographer and curator in Washington, D.C. She received her B.A. from Vassar College in 1950 with a major in English History. Swift then moved to London for her husband's work, and did not return to the United States until the 1960s. She received her M.A. from Catholic University's Speech and Drama Department in 1968, and an M.A. in Art History from George Washington University in 1978.
In October 1977, Swift became a production assistant for the Washington Review, a bi-monthly broadsheet on DC cultural life, while finishing her master's thesis at George Washington University. She was promoted to associate editor in 1978, and became managing editor of the arts section in 1980.
While at the Washington Review, Swift also worked as a curator and curatorial assistant on exhibitions in Washington, D.C. She worked as a curatorial assistant for Howard Mehring: A Retrospective Exhibition (1977-1978) at the Corcoran Gallery of Art; as a co-curator with Walter Hopps for the exhibition, Eminent Washington Artists: Benjamin Abramowitz, Sarah Baker, Leon Berkowitz, Robert Gates, Sy Gresser, Lois Milou Jones, Jacob Kainen, Alfred McAdams, James McLaughlin, Howard Mehring, Marjorie Phillips, John Robinson, Alma Thomas (1980), at the Art Barn Gallery; and curated, Drawings: 13 Washington Sculptors; Christenberry, Dickson, Fleps, Haley, Knights, Krebs, Lombardo, Mahoney, Puryear, Rudd, Schwebler, Staton, Truitt (1980), at the Diane Brown Gallery.
The professional appointments Swift held include exhibitions coordinator for the International Sculpture Conference in 1980 as well as board of director memberships at the Washington Gallery of Art, Charles Weidman Dance Company, the Washington Review, and the Washington Project for the Arts. Additionally, Swift was involved with her alma mater, Vassar College, in the capacity of Vice present for Programs of the Vassar Club of Washington, and Chairman of the Washington Friends of the Vassar Art Gallery.
Mary Swift's contributions to the Washington Review include photographs, reviews of art exhibitions, and interviews with artists such as choreographer Lucinda Childs and painter Robert Indiana. The exhibition catalogues Swift contributed to include Breton Morse, Paintings 1960-1978 (1978), Sy Gresser—Sculpture (1978), Howard Mehring: A Retrospective Exhibition (1977-1978), and Hands of Artists (1981)
Photographs from Swift's collection were displayed in an exhibition, Mary Swift's Washington (2005), held at Flashpoint Gallery.