Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1975)

  • Mary Lane McMillan (1883-1976)

  • Rose Study, c. 1965
  • Pastel on paper
  • 7 x 8 inches
  • Signed upper right and verso

Mary spent her childhood filling sketchbooks and received private art lessons. She attended the National Academy of Design and was awarded the the Suydam bronze medal for her work in the “antiques” class in 1903 and an honorable mention the following year.[1] In October 1904, at the age of 21, Mary married George L. McMillan, a gifted musician from Missouri.[2] They settled in Fort Worth, Texas around 1906 and began teaching at Polytechnic College. George was a professor of piano harmony and composition while Mary was in charge of the art department. Around the same time Mary also began designing covers for various print publications including Holland’s Magazine, and The Etude, a magazine for music enthusiasts[3].

Mary spent the summer of 1909 studying under Walter Marshall Clute (1870-1915). An American artist and illustrator, Clute held a class for advanced artists at his “quaint and picturesque” villa in Park Ridge, Illinois. When Mary returned to Fort Worth in the fall, she exhibited 40 works comprised of oils, watercolors, and pen and ink, on opening day at Polytechnic College.[4] The following summer, Mary and George travelled to Liverpool aboard the steamship Lusitania to visit art galleries in London and Paris before settling in Italy where Mary studied under American Impressionist William Merritt Chase (1849-1916) at his Florentine villa.[5]

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Mary Lane McMillan Rose Study, c. 1965 unframed