Mona Boulware Webb

Hailed as the “Queen of Willy Street”, Mona Webb (1914 – 1998) was a painter, sculptor and a major contributor and influencer to the Madison art scene in the 1960’s and 70’s. A Houston, Texas native, Webb moved to Mexico City early in her career, and was inspired by a rich tradition of visual art that included pre-Columbian ceramics, folk carvings and textiles and the revolutionary murals of Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. She also was influenced by an international group of free thinkers who met periodically at the University of Mexico, especially the Indian mystic, Krishnamurti, who counseled Webb on the spiritual and imaginative powers of meditation. In the early 1960s, Webb resettled in Madison, Wisconsin, and opened the Wayhouse of Light, named to suggest a shelter for pilgrims, at 1354 Williamson (“Willy”) Street. The building was more than a home and studio for Webb; it also served as a collaborative artists’ space and lively community cultural center for the next three decades.