Born 1844 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania
Died 1926 in Mesnil-Theribus, France
Though Mary is American she spent most of her life in France and grouped with the Impressionists. Mary was the only American to paint with the impressionists. Mary is one of the few of the women in her time to be successful in a profession dominated by the men.
She mostly painted daily life, and particularly of mother and children who are much beloved today.
Mary grew up in Philadelphia in an affluent family that spent 4 years in Europe when she was very young. At the age of 17, she enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. At the age of 22 she moved to Paris to become a professional painter
Her early works, inspired by Velazquez and other revered masters, were accepted by the original Salon. Even though she was mostly inspired by the Impressionists and her style became more colorful and free. She admired Degas the most, and she was delighted when, in 1877, he invited her to participate in the Independentsí exhibitions.
Most of her portraits are of family members, women, and children. In the 1890s mothers and children became her specialty.