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 Mary Taylor Bryan  (1907 - 1978)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/Vermont/New Mexico / Mexico      Known for: genre, landscape and marine painting

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Mary Taylor Lewis Dryan is primarily known as Mary Taylor Bryan

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from Auction House Records.
The Dolomites
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Biography from American Eagle Fine Art:
Mary Bryan, A.W.S., was born in Carlsbad, New Mexico, on the shores of the tiny Pecos River. At an early age she moved East with her parents to live in Connecticut, later residing in California. She was indifferent to her studies in the various schools she attended, except when it came to art classes where she invariably stood at the top of her group. As she grew older, she became interested in being a sculptress and studied with Laura Fraser, Carl Illiver, and then at the New School of American Sculpture.

In 1938, she moved to Gloucester with her husband, Alden Bryan, where they remained for many summers. She then began her career as a painter. They operated the Bryan Gallery on Rocky Neck, exhibiting their work for over 30 years. While there, she studied painting with Emile Gruppé. A few years later she attended classes with Eliot O'Hara at his school for watercolor in Goose Rocks Beach, Maine.

The Bryans settled permanently on a farm in Jeffersonville, Vermont, which was becoming a Mecca for New England painters because of its appealing landscape subjects.

Mary Bryan has, arguably, demonstrated more versatility in her styles of artistic expression than any other American artist. She expressed herself with transparent watercolor, acrylics, and a medium she described as plastic tempera, a method by which she combined opaque watercolor with plastic spray giving a varnished, quick drying effect with which she liked to work. She went on to do paintings in wool which are effective as either wall hangings or framed pictures.

She became interested in enamels and her studio was filled with kilns of all sizes. In later years, she had an additional studio where she became busy with her potter's wheel. And if all that were not enough, she occupied her time making lacquered boxes, decoupage and intricate beaded jewelry. Her hands were never idle. She would knit in the theater. She also tried her hand at weaving and spinning wool.

Mary arose early to start her work. She was a lady with delicate hands, long nails and slender fingers, but she belied the proverb that "A lady takes an hour to dress, but a woman puts her clothes on in five minutes." After her feet met the floor, she was quickly at her easel, or whatever, a cup of coffee in hand. Whether she was at work or not, she always met whoever came into the room with a smile.

During her career, Mary Bryan won two prizes at the American Watercolor Society where her paintings were three times included in the select group of the Society's exhibits touring the country for a year. She won three awards at the National Association of Women Artists, two prizes at the Silvermine Guild, three first prizes at the North Shore Arts Association and two at the Allied Artists of America, one of which won the Gold Medal of Honor for the best in show.

In Boston, Mary Bryan was a member of the Guild of Boston Artists and the Copley Society, at both of which, she, with her husband, held Two-artist Exhibitions.

Mary Bryan died in September 1978 and is buried in the scenic hillside cemetery in Waterville, Vermont. The Mary Bryan Memorial Art Gallery was built in her memory at Jeffersonville in 1984 by her husband. Its purpose is to display the best of Vermont and New England painters and to show, as does this current exhibition, what one woman can accomplish in her lifetime.

Sources include: Artists of the Rockport Art Association (1956).

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