Mary G. Blumenschein
Born in New York City, Mary Shepard studied at the Adelphi Academy in Brooklyn and then at the Pratt Institute. When she was only 17 years of age she left for Paris in 1886 where she worked with Raphaël Collin, an artist best known for establishing links with well-known artists working in Japan.
She entered the Salon d'Automne (Autumn Salon) in 1900 and was awarded a 3rd class honor. In 1900, she became the second woman artist (after Mary Cassatt) to win the Gold Medal.
In Paris in 1905, she met and married Ernest L. Blumenschein, also an artist. They moved back to New York in 1909 for the birth of their daughter, Helen. While there they taught at Pratt and did work for various magazines such as McClure’s, American and Century.
Her husband discovered Taos, New Mexico after an accident stranded him there in 1898. While he made annual summer trips there Mary stayed in New York. After the sale of a house she had inherited made them financially independent, they moved to Taos in 1919, eventually becoming part of the Taos Society of Artists.