Beatrice Wood

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Beatrice Wood was an American ceramicist and writer who was influential in the Avant Garde movement. She was a life member of the Theosophical Society in America. A photo essay of her life appears on the Website of the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts.

Early life

Artistic career

Theosophical Society involvement

Two years before her death, Miss Wood was recognized at the annual convention as "the seniormost Fellow of the Theosophical Society in America in years of age in this incarnation." She was then 103 years old. In a series of resolutions, the artist was acclaimed a "one of our most faithful members" and "a world-famous ceramicist, artist, chocolate connoisseur, and inspirer of young men, as well as a greatly admired, honored, and loved member of the Theosphical Society who throughout her life has exemplified high ideals of art and living."[1]


I Shock Myself: The Autobiography of Beatrice Wood was published in 1985 by Chronicle Books, San Francisco.

The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists 22 by Beatrice Wood and four about her.

Miss Wood also wrote plays. The Theosophical Messenger reported:

"Beatrice Wood sends word that she has just completed a one-act play dealing with life after death that is suitable for Lodge production. It has four characters and is not difficult to set. She will be glad to send it to any Lodge interested. Perhaps this play would be valuable as a means of spreading theosophical truth.[2]

The following year,

The Theosophical Press will undertake the publication of two Theosophical plays by Beatrice Wood, The Door That Did Not Close and Corridor E, if a sufficient number of orders are guaranteed in advance. The Door That Did Not Close has already been produced with genuine success by several lodges and the second new play comes highly recommended.[3]

Additional resources

  • Clark, Garth. Gilded Vessel: The Lustrous Life and Art of Beatrice Wood. Guild Publishing, 2001.
  • Wallace, Marlene. Playing Chess With the Heart: Beatrice Wood at 100. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1994.


  1. "Convention Resolutions," The American Theosophist 84.6 (Early Autumn, 1996), 10.
  2. "A New Play," The Theosophical Messenger 19.3 (March 1931), 338.
  3. "Occult Plays," The Theosophical Messenger 20.9 (September 1932), 208.