Mary Taylor Bryan

Mary Bryan
Mary Bryan

Time Period

1940 to Today

Subject Categories

Arts

Notable Facts

Full time artist that mastered watercolor and oil paint, as well as metal work, pottery and mixed media. Established and ran the Bryan Gallery on Rocky Neck in Gloucester, MA, for 30 years. Her husband, Alden Bryan founded the Mary Bryan Memorial Gallery in Jeffersonville, VT, in 1978.

Personal Information

Date of Birth

1906

Date of Death

1978

Primary Residence

Jeffersonville

Ethnicity

Caucasian

Historical Significance

Mary Taylor Bryan was born in Carlsbad, New Mexico, in 1906. Moving to Connecticut with her parents at an early age, she also lived with them in California before settling permanently in the East.

Admittedly indifferent to her studies at the various schools she attended, Mary was always the top in her class in art, particularly leaning toward sculpture. She studied in workshop situations with some outstanding sculptors of the time including Laura Fraser and Carl Illiver, and then at the New School of American Sculpture.

In 1938, she moved with her husband, painter Alden Bryan, and their young son, to Gloucester, MA, where they returned for many summers. There she began her career as a painter. She and Alden operated the Bryan Gallery in Rocky Neck, MA, exhibiting their work for over 30 years. While there, she studied painting with the legendary American artist Emile Gruppe, and also 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, VT, in 1939, again drawn to an area which had been a mecca for New England landscape painters for decades.

Unfettered by formal, academic training, Mary Bryan expressed herself masterfully in a variety of artistic media: watercolor, acrylics, plastic tempera and paintings in wool. She worked in enamels and at a potter's wheel, at lacquered boxes, decoupage and intricate beaded jewelry, weaving and spinning wool. Her hands were never idle. Early to rise, she would often be at her easel before drinking her morning coffee.

During her career, Mary Bryan won two prizes at the American Watercolor Society, where her paintings were included in a select group of the Society's exhibits, touring the country on three separate occasions. 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 American, including 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 and her husband had two-artist exhibitions.

Mary Bryan died in September, 1978, and is buried in Waterville, VT. The Mary Bryan Memorial Gallery was built in her memory at Jeffersonville in 1984 by her husband, to show the finest Vermont and New England painters, and is now in its 23rd year.

Organizations or Movements

  • American Watercolor Society Copley Society of Boston
  • Guild of Boston Artists

Occupations

  • Artist

Education

  • Mary Bryan's artistic education included workshops and tutorials with some of the outstanding art teachers of the time including Emile Gruppe and Eliot O'Hara

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Mary Bryan Biography Link

  • Michon, Heather K. A Beautiful Legacy of Art by Our Vermont Masters. Vermont Woman Newspaper. May 2007. Link

Additional Images

Bryan family on boat
Bryan family on boat
Mary Bryan with dog
Mary Bryan with dog
Alden Bryan
Alden Bryan