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Mary Spencer Nay (1913 - 1993)

Lot 228: MARY SPENCER NAY (American, 1913-1993) Painting

Myers Fine Art

April 7, 2013
St. Petersburg, FL, US

More About this Item


MARY SPENCER NAY (American, 1913-1993) "Dune Country" Oil, rice paper, gold leaf and silver leaf on canvas. Monogrammed within the composition lower right, signed, titled and dated ("1961") on the stretcher. Some foxing to the handmade Japanese paper. Provenance: estate Constance Clark Willis, Nay's colleague at the Louisville Art Center Association School. "Dune Country" was one of the 24 paintings in Nay's November 1961 Louisville Art Center Association exhibition. The "Louisville Times" review of the exhibition (Nov. 3, 1961) includes a photograph of "Dune Country", with the artist standing alongside it. The reviewer noted that "Most of these works have been done in the last two summers at Provincetown, Mass." Included with the painting is a 1976 catalog from the J.B. Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky of the Mary Spencer Nay exhibition titled Recent and Restrospective Works. Painting measures 26" x 48". Original 4" wide custom wood frame measures 34" x 56". List of National Exhibitions: 1938 Third Annual National Exhibition of American Art Fine Arts Society, New York City 1939 World's Fair, N. Y. Gallery of American Art Today 1939 "Artists of Victory" Exhibition, Metropolitan Museum, N.Y. 1940 Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, Metropolitan Museum, N.Y. 1942 International Business Machines, Gallery of Science and Art, World's Fair, N.Y. 1950 First International Exhibition of Contemporary Color Lithography, Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio 1951 60th Annual Exhibition of American Painting, Chicago Art Institute 1952 Annual Minneapolis Print Show 1952 Terry National Art Exhibit, Miami, Florida 1952 Florida National Art Exhibition, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida 1952 Second International Exhibition of Color Lithography, Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio 1954 61st Annual Exhibition of American Art, Chicago Art Institute 1954 Third International Exhibition of Color Lithography, Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio 1956 10th Annual Print Show, Brooklyn Museum, N.Y. 1956 Fourth International Exhibition of Color Lithography, Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio 1959 Second "Rowland Travelling Exhibition of Cape Cod Artists" 1963 Contemporary American Water-color Show, Grand Rapids, Michigan 1973 National "Small Paintings Show", Frame House Gallery. Louisville, Kentucky. From AskArt: "One of the most influential women artists of her home state, Mary Spencer Nay was born in Crestwood, Kentucky. She began her art education at the Art Center Association School in Louisville and received a B.A. from the University of Louisville in 1941. In the 1940s and early 1950s, she studied at the Cincinnati Art Academy; in New York at the Art Students League under Will Barnet, George Grosz, and Yasuo Kuniyoshi; and later with Boris Margo in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Returning to Louisville, Nay pursued her painting while establishing a career as an art educator. She taught and then served as director of the Art Association School; in 1959, she joined the faculty of the University of Louisville. During these years, she regularly fulfilled commissions and participated in Federal Art Projects, including a mural at the Louisville Free Public Library. Following her marriage to fellow artist Lou Block in 1951, Nay traveled extensively throughout Europe and Mexico. A member of the Provincetown Art Association as well as several regional art groups, she exhibited at such prestigious venues as the Art Institute of Chicago and Metropolitan Museum of Art. This essay is copyrighted by the Charleston Renaissance Gallery and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from Hicklin Galleries, LLC."

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