Oil on canvas, 15.5 x 17.5 inches/Signed lower left
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Reid, best known for her floral still-lifes, was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, but after the death of her father when she was still an infant, her mother took Mary and her sister to live with relatives in Beloit, Wisconsin. She returned to Reading after her mother’s death in 1875. Reid attended the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (1881 – 1883) and enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1883 to 1885), where she took classes taught by Thomas Pollock Anshutz and Thomas Eakins. She met her husband Canadian artist, George Reid at the Academy. They were married in 1885 and for their honeymoon they traveled to London, Paris, Italy, and Spain. When they returned home, they settled in Toronto and ultimately to a home, designed by her husband, in the Wychwood Park artists’ colony. In 1888, the Reids returned to Paris and Mary studied at the Académie Colarossi in Paris, under Joseph Blanc, Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret, Gustave Courtois, and Jean-André Rixens. By 1890 she was widely considered the pre-eminent flower painter in Canada. The Reids spent every summer from 1891 to 1916, at the Onteora Club, a private literary and artistic club in the Catskill Mountains near Tannersville, N.Y. where they built an arts and crafts-style house and studio in which they held art classes. in 1887 she was elected as a member of the Ontario Society of Artists, and in 1907 she became only the second woman to serve on its executive committee. In 1893, Mary was elected an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and a member of the Canadian Society of Applied Art in 1904. Reid exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition (1893, Chicago, IL; Ontario Society of Artists; Royal Canadian Academy of Arts; the Art Association of Montreal; the Women's Art Association of Canada; Canadian National Exhibition; Pan-American exposition in (1901, Buffalo, NY); Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904, St Louis), Art Metropole (1912, Toronto); and the Royal Ontario Museum, in aid of the Red Cross Society (1915).