10 Questions for Mary Beebe


Stuart Collection Director

Since the inception of the Stuart Collection in l981, Mary Livingstone Beebe has been its director. The collection is an ongoing program commissioning outdoor sculpture for UCSD.

Locally, it has received two awards from the San Diego Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. It was featured on CBS’s Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt in August ’93 and received a National Honors Award from the American Institute of Architects in May 1994 prior to moving to San Diego, Beebe was Director for nine years of the Portland Center for the Visual Arts in Portland, Ore. where she oversaw an important program of exhibitions, installations, performance art, music, dance and other major forms of artistic expressions in the ‘70s.

Beebe serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Board of Directors of Art Matters, Inc., New York, the Art Advisory Board for the University of California, San Francisco’s new Mission Bay campus and the Public Art Committee for the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

Q: What brought you to La Jolla?

I was offered the job as founding director of the Stuart Collection at UCSD and have been, here since 1981 when it started. It has been and continues to be, an amazing journey.

Q: What makes La Jolla special to you?

Besides the job and many friends, I love being near the ocean and the desert and Mexico and L.A. It’s hard to beat the territory.

Q: If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in La Jolla?

I would love to see more great contemporary architecture and more preservation of old neighborhoods.

Q: Who or what inspires you?

Our museum directors and some of the contemporary art collectors.

Q: If you hosted a dinner party for eight, who (living or deceased) would you


Ah oh, difficult: Elizabeth Murray, Bruce Nauman, Pablo Neruda, Nelson Mandela, Steve Ilott, Gwen Iffil, Hugh Davies, Lynda Forsha, Charles Reilly, and my husband.

Q: Tell us about what you are currently reading.

“The Inheritance of Loss” by Kiran Desai.

Q: What is your most prized possession?

My wedding ring and paintings by Manny Farber, Patricia Patterson and Kim MacConnel.

Q: What do you do for fun?

Garden and walk and visit siblings, nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and grand-nephews in Oregon.

Q: Please describe your greatest accomplishment.

Enjoying every day. No regrets.

Q: What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Keep moving and don’t bunch up.