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 Mary Earl Wood  (1866 - 1951)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: portrait, landscape, illustration

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Mary Earl Wood
An example of work by Mary Earl Wood
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Whistler House Museum of Art:
The following is from Peter Kostoulakos, ISA ˜ Fine Art Consultant

Mary Earl Wood — creator of portraits, landscapes, and illustrative art in both oil and watercolor — was born in Lowell, MA in 1866 and died in May of 1951 while residing in Chelmsford, MA.

Her ancestry goes back to early Lowell settlers including Captain John Ford of the Revolutionary War who was the first to use waterpower generated by the Pawtucket Falls near his Lowell home.

Mary Earl's early education took place in Lowell and then, at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where she was able to study with Joseph Rodefer De Camp (1858-1923), when he was the director of the School of Drawing and Painting. Other teachers were Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862-1938); and Frank Weston Benson (1862-1951). She affectionately referred to these instructors as her "masters."

Della Muzzey, an art instructor in Lexington, MA, proclaimed Mary Earl to be one of the most promising of the Boston students of that period.

Mary Earl married Frederick Wood, editor of the "Youth's Companion Magazine". They lived together in Lowell in a house on Pawtucket Street next to the Lambert House — present headquarters of the American Red Cross. Years later, Wood painted "The Red Cross Volunteer" (c. 1930), probably in her third floor studio at the Whistler House Museum of Art, birthplace of James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903).

Wood, a member of the Copley Society in Boston, was from 1900 to 1930, the Artist-in-Residence at the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, to whom she bequeathed over 20 of her works. As a member of the Lowell Art Association, she conducted art classes and served as its secretary. In the early 20th century she maintained addresses in Lowell and Boston which, in 1929, included 404 Fenway Studios, 30 Ipswich Street.

Much of the Whistler House Museum's collection is the result of Wood's efforts to engage major Boston artists to exhibit there from 1910 to 1930.

Some of the numerous portraits of noteworthy Lowell and Greater Boston area residents Wood painted are Frederick T. Greenhalge, elected mayor of Lowell, 1880 and governor of Massachusetts, 1893; General A. W. Greeley, the Arctic explorer; Mary Ann Webster of Lowell High School; Dr. John F. Colten; Frank W. Coburn; Charles W. Morey; Cyrus W. Irish; and Frank Naismith Parsons (1854 - 1934), Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court from 1902 to 1924.

Her work is included in the collections of the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, MA; the Pollard Memorial Library, also in Lowell; the New Hampshire Supreme Court Building in Concord, NH; and many private residences.

Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art", vol. I, page 692
Ray Davenport, "Davenport's Art Reference 2001/2002", page 1999 Glenn Opitz, "Mantle Fielding's" 1986, page 1054
Daniel Mallett, "Index to Artists", page 482
Whistler House Museum of Art files.

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