The following information was submitted in March of 2006 by her great-great niece Janie Morgan Johansen:
Born on January 15, 1867 in Tuskegee, Alabama to Thomas B. Dryer and Nannie Chambless Dryer, she studied at Huntington College, Montgomery, Alabama in 1900, and from 1904 to 1907 at the New York School of Art. There she studied with William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, Lawton Parker, Francis Luis Mora, Lucius Wolcott Hitchcock, Clifford Carlton, and Edward Penfield.
Della wrote letters during this period to her sister, Rena Dryer Williams, which had been kept in the family and I opened them and typed them up and photographed all known paintings and made a manuscript which is now in the permanent libraries of the following museums: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Academy of Design in New York; the National Museum of Art for Women in Washington, D.C.; the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama; and Peter Falk of Who Was Who in American Art, New York, New York.
1907, January 21—Opened her studio at Five Points—Birmingham, Alabama
1908—Birmingham, Alabama—founded the Birmingham Art Club with fellow female artists, Alice Rumph and Mrs. J.H.Montgomery.
1910—Hawthorne School of Art—Provincetown, Massachusetts—studied under Charles Webster Hawthorne.
1910-1912—Julian Academy—Paris, France—studied under Claudio Castellucho and Guerin.
1926—West End School of Art—Provincetown, Massachusetts—studied under George Elmer Browne.
1927—George Elmer Browne Art Class in France, Italy and Northern Africa
1933—Dixie Art Colony—Wetumpka, Alabama—studied under John Kelly Fitzpatrick
April 19, 1951—Died in Birmingham, Alabama
Since I made the manuscript the following exhibitions of the work of Della Dryer and a book have been published:
August-December—2002—Mary Brogan Museum of Art—Tallahassee, Florida—27 of Della Dryer’s paintings were on exhibit as an example of a Southern female Impressionist along with the traveling exhibit; Sunlight and Shadow; American Impressionism 1885-1945
November-January—2004-2005—Birmingham Historical Society, Birmingham, Alabama—Birmingham Public Library, Birmingham, Alabama
Exhibition and book entitled, ‘Art of the New South-Women Artists of Birmingham 1890-1950’, written by Vicki Leigh Ingham.
Recent Acquisition of the Jule Collins Smith, Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
Memorial gift of the painting, ‘Street Scene-Morocco’ in the name of Mr. Robert Hughes Mount, Jr. was given by Rena Dryer Williams and Ms. Mary Frances Mount Danasak.