About Mary June Kellogg Rice
The Network appreciates the cooperation of Mary June Kellogg Rice in assembling this feature. Mrs. Rice served as Art Director of the Milwaukee WPA Handicraft Project for most of its duration. In the February 1944 issue of DESIGN magazine, Elsa Ulbricht (Project Director) paid tribute to her contributions.
She assumed the position of Art Director in November 1935, after assisting in its organization the two preceding months, and she remained in that capacity until her marriage [to Edward E. Rice].
When the project was started, she was a senior art student in the Division of Art Education, Milwaukee State Teachers College....
As Art Director of the Project, she made her decisions with surety and dispatch and her judgment could be relied upon. No article was constructed which did not receive her approval. Her analysis of a problem and her criticisms were constructive and all of the designers and work-foremen whom she directed benefited and grew in aesthetic judgment and in ability to organize their assignments. She possessed patience, perserverance and the concentration necessary to surmount obstacles. She has always been a creative person.
I am happy to pay this small tribute to her in appreciation for her accomplishments and to express without reservation my immeasurable gratitude for her fine contribution to the project, without which it would not have been a success.
Today, Mrs. Rice and her husband live in California. She looks back upon her time with the Project as "one of the formative experiences" of her life.
She is currently working on a book about the Milwaukee WPA Handicraft Project.