Drawn From Life: The Art of Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976)

Mary Lane McMillan An Italian Garden

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) An Italian Garden, 1910 Oil on canvas 16 x 20 inches Signed lower right

(New York, NY) Hawthorne Fine Art is pleased to announce a retrospective exhibition featuring the work of Mary Lane McMillan. Running from October 15, 2020 to December 18, 2020, Drawn from Life: The Art of Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) invites viewers to rediscover a highly talented and accomplished American Impressionist.

A native of Alabama, McMillan was raised in the congregation of Tuscumbia’s First Presbyterian Church where her father James G. Lane served as pastor. The congregation included the family of notable American Helen Keller (1880-1968). Rev. Lane baptized Helen as an infant and years later would encourage his daughter to sit with her during church services to soothe her. Despite Helen’s inability to see or hear, the two girls developed a friendship, a testament to Mary’s kind, patient, and sensitive nature.

McMillan studied at the National Academy of Design and at the Chicago Art Institute. A student of renowned American Impressionist William Merritt Chase, McMillan spent the summer with the artist at his Italian villa in 1910. She exhibited regularly in Fort Worth, Texas before returning to New York in 1912 to focus on a career in book and magazine illustration. Her work appeared in many popular magazines including Life, Harper’s Bazaar and The Saturday Evening Post. McMillan and her musician husband established the McMillan School of Fine Arts in New Rochelle, New York, and held summer classes in Belgrade Lakes, Maine.

The exhibition brings together more than 50 works in a range of media, including oils, watercolor, pastel, and ink, that span McMillan’s nearly five-decade career. Together, the work reveals McMillan’s skill, versatility, and the lasting influence of her teacher, Chase.

Among the work to be shown will be An Italian Garden, 1910, painted alongside Chase at his 15th century Florentine villa. The painting shares a striking resemblance to a work by Chase titled The Orangerie, c.1909. The girls featured appear to be Chase’s youngest daughters Helen Velazquez (1897-1965) and Mary Content (1904-1943) with dolls from their father who was fond of giving out such keepsakes. It would be Chase’s blonde haired daughter, Helen, who reappears in Young Girl with Parasol. Vivid watercolor sketches and floral studies on view reveal McMillan’s delight in rendering her own flourishing garden with an impressionist’s flair. The archway of flowering vines that greeted students at McMillan’s summer school can be seen in Vacation School Maine and a similar flower festooned walkway is presented in Maine Garden Stairway. Elaborate patterns of light and shadow can be seen in works such as the unique architectural work, Red Window Sashes. McMillan’s pastoral scenes of Maine will be on view along with View of Penobscot Bay which highlights the industrialization of New England. Study of a Nurse shows McMillan’s deft use of pastel in quickly capturing the likeness of her caretaker, while more fanciful portraits can be seen in Woman with Parasol and Girl with Fan.

Also featured will be Cherokee Rose Floral Still Life, a work by notable Floridian artist Catherine Stockwell (1895-1983), a friend and roommate of McMillan in her later years.

Mary Lane McMillan Lady with Hat unframed

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Lady with Hat Pencil on paper 4 3/4 x 3 5/8 inches Signed verso

McMillan, Mary Lane_Women Sewing, 1904_thumb.jpg
Mary Lane McMillan An Italian Youth

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) An Italian Youth, c. 1910 Watercolor on paper 7 ¾ x 3 ½ inches Estate Stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan The Tower of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, c. 1910

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) The Tower of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, c. 1910 Watercolor on paper 25 x 19 inches Signed lower left

Mary Lane McMillan San Franceso Monastery, Fiesole, Italy

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) San Franceso Monastery, Fiesole, Italy, 1910 Watercolor on paper 9 x 12 inches Signed lower right

Mary Lane McMillan Red Window Sashes

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Red Window Sashes Oil on canvas 12 x 16 inches Estate Stamp Verso

Mary Lane McMillan Young Girl with Parasol

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Young Girl with Parasol, c. 1910-1915 Oil on canvas 20 x 16 inches Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan An Italian Garden

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) An Italian Garden, 1910 Oil on canvas 16 x 20 inches Signed lower right

Mary Lane McMillan View of Penobscot Bay

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) View of Penobscot Bay Oil on panel 14 5/8 x 10 3/4 inches Signed verso

Mary Lane McMillan Reflections

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Reflections, c. 1910 Oil on canvas 7 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan Lake Maine unframed

MARY LANE MCMILLAN (1883-1976) Lake in Maine Pastel on paper 10¾ x 18¾ inches Signed verso

Mary Lane McMillan Girl with Fan unframed

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Girl with Fan, c. 1911 Watercolor on paper 11 1/2 x 9 inches Signed lower left

Mary Lane McMillan Young Woman with Parasol

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Young Woman with Parasol Pastel on paper 7 ½ x 5 ¼ inches Estate Stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan Woman Looking Upward, c. 1920

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Woman Looking Upward, c. 1920 Pastel and pencil on paper 5 x 4 inches Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan Resolved

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Resolved, c. 1925 Pastel and pencil on paper 5 x 4 inches Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan Study for Vacation School

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Study for Vacation School Pastel on paperboard 12 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches Signed lower left and verso

Mary Lane McMillan View from Entrance to Vacation School unframed

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) View from Entrance to Vacation School (Belgrade Lakes, Maine) Oil on canvas 20 x 16 inches Signed Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan Flowers by the Stairwell, Maine

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Flowers by the Stairwell, Maine Watercolor on paper 14 x 10 1/2 inches Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan In the Garden unframed

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) In the Garden Watercolor on paper 17 x 9 3/4 inches Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan By the Lake in Maine unframed

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) By the Lake In Maine Watercolor and pencil on paper 17 7/8 x 12 inches Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan Summer Garden Sketch unframed

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Summer Garden Sketch Gouache on paper laid down on board 9 x 11.5 inches Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan Maine Farmhouse

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Maine Farmhouse Watercolor on paper 6 x 8 inches Signed and dated 1930, lower right

Mary Lane McMillan The Garden Path unframed

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) The Garden Path Watercolor on paper 16 x 11 inches Signed lower right

Mary Lane McMillan Bridge, c. 1931

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Bridge, c. 1931 Colored pencil on paper 11 ½ x 18 inches Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan Stone Building, c. 1931

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Stone Building, c. 1931 Colored pencil on paper 8 ½ x 10 ³/4 inches Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan Rose Study, c. 1965 unframed

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Rose Study, c. 1965 Pastel on paper 7 x 8 inches Signed upper right and verso

Mary Lane McMillan Study 'Dainty Beso' Rose, 1967 unframed

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Study ‘Dainty Beso’ Rose, 1967 Pastel on paper 12 x 18 inches Signed and dated lower right, titled lower center

Mary Lane McMillan Sunflower in an Oriental Pot

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Sunflower in an Oriental Pot Pastel and pencil on paper 12 x 17 inches Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan Coleus Sketch, c. 1951 unframed

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Coleus Sketch, c. 1951 Watercolor and pencil on paper 11 1/4 x 8 5/8 inches Signed on verso

Mary Lane McMillan Study for Nurse unframed

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Study for Nurse, c. 1967 Pastel on paper 12 3/4 x 10 inches

Mary Lane McMillan Portrait of a Nurse, 1967

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Portrait of Nurse, 1967 Pastel on paper 16 x 11 inches Signed and dated lower right

Mary Lane McMillan Interior Scene with Fern

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Interior Scene with Fern Watercolor on paper 14 ¹/² x 10 inches Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan Interior with Painting and Open Book

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Interior Scene with Painting and Open Book Watercolor on paper 14 ¹/² x 10 inches Signed lower left

Mary Lane McMillan View from Studio Window, c. 1930-60

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) View from Studio Window, c. 1930-60 Watercolor on paper 8 ¹/4 x 8 inches Estate stamp on verso

Mary Lane McMillan Interior of Artist's Home

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Interior of Artist’s Home, c. 1955 Mixed media on paper 16 x 10 inches Estate stamp verso

Mary Lane McMillan Young Girl with Net unframed

Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976) Young Girl with a Net Watercolor on paper 8 x 8 inches Estate Stamp verso