Swanzy, Mary (1882-1978) by Scholes, Robert

Mary Swanzy (1882 – 1978) Mary Swanzy was born in Dublin in 1882. She studied modelling with sculptor John Hughes in Dublin, then attended summer classes in Paris c. 1906-1907. She glimpsed pictures by Picasso and other modern artists in Gertrude Stein’s house. By the age of fifteen, she had drawn, painted, and attended art classes for several years. At age fifteen, she left Ireland to complete her studies at the LycĂ©e in Versailles and later in Freiburg, Germany. Upon leaving these schools, Mary Swanzy pursued her career as a painter. She took further art classes in Dublin and was greatly encouraged by her instructor, John B. Yeats. She also studied sculpting at the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin. She settled in London, and continued painting into her nineties. Reviewing a show of the National Portrait Society in 1918, Ezra Pound found Swanzy’s “arrangement of brush-strokes in quadrilaterals” debatable, but he said worse things about other artists . (NA 22.18:356)

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