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 Mary Loomis Wilson  (1907 - 1999)

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Lived/Active: New York/Michigan      Known for: genre-urban views, figure

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Ad Code: 4
Mary Loomis Wilson
from Auction House Records.
Men on the Subway
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography is based on information provided to by Esther Greenleaf Murer, niece of Mary Loomis Wilson:

Mary Loomis Wilson was born in Michigan (Ann Arbor, I think) in 1907 and died in State College, Pennsylvania in 1999. She went to New York from Michigan in the late 1920s to study painting at the Art Students League, and continued studying there for many years.

Always ready to encourage creativity in others, after her marriage to Robert Martyn Wilson in 1929, she held art classes for the neighborhood children in her home on Long Island. In the early 1960s, she and her husband moved to
Cranbury New Jersey where she worked with children at the Mercer Street Friends Center in Trenton. She moved to Stuart, Florida in 1972, and in 1990, after the death of her husband she moved to Foxdale Village, a Quaker Retirement community in State College, Pennsylvania. She had a retrospective show at Foxdale in 1992.

Her paintings of urban scenes and her sketchbooks filled with drawings of people on the subway have been familiar to me since childhood. Although her work remained representational and included portraits and landscape with trees, she did a lot of experimenting with color in the 1940s and early 50s.

After she joined the Society of Friends in the mid 50s, her work gradually became abstract, lighter, and more joyous. I think there was always a strong geometrical element in her work from the beginning; circles loom large in many of her portraits, for example.

She continued painting into her late 80s. Christine Ayoub of State College Monthly Meeting did a series of interviews for the meeting archives where there is more information about her artistic autobiography.

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