Mary Ann Wright

Maiden Name: 
Van Alstine
Variant Names: 
Mary A Wright
Mary A Bartow
Silas F Wright; Alfred Barton, 1889
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Watertown, WI
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
Pasadena, CA
Watertown, WI, 1848-1868
Chicago, 1868-1884
Watertown, WI, 1884-1889
Chadron, NE, 1889-1898
Colorado Springs, CO, 1898-1903
South Pasadena, CA, 1903-1922
Pasadena, CA, 1922-24
Active In: 
Chicago, IL
Painting - Oil
Painting - Watercolor
Floral Landscape
Floral Still Life
Annual Exhibition, Bohemian Art Club, AIC, 1882, 83, 84
Inter-State Industrial Exposition, Hall of Art, Chicago, 1872-1891
Annual Exhibition, Palette Club, AIC, 1891
American Watercolor Society, New York, 1884
Philadelphia (PA) Watercolor show
Louisville (KY) Exposition, 1884
Solo, Colorado Springs (CO), 1898
Bohemian Art Club, Chicago (charter member)
Palette Club, Chicago
California Art Club
Other Occupations: 
Head of art and music department, Chadron (NE) Academy

Born in Wisconsin in 1848, Mary A Van Alstine's interest was the piano, which she studied in Eastern boarding schools. When she married businessman Silas Wright in 1868 and moved to Chicago, she studied art, became a charter member of the Bohemian Club and later the Palette Club, and exhibited regularly with both. She lived in Chicago from about 1860 until 1884 when she moved back to Watertown, WI. On April 22, 1889 she married Alfred Bartow and she moved to Chadron, NE where she headed the art and music department at Chadron Academy until 1898, when the couple moved to Colorado Springs, CO. Her husband died in 1902. In 1903 she moved to South Pasadena, CA and in 1922 to Pasadena.

Her work was described in an addendum likely written as a resume by her husband Judge Bartow in 1901: "She belongs to no well defined school of painters. She inclines toward the "Impressionists", not the extremists of that school, but she detests detail in landscape paintings. She paints nature as she sees it, and if you do not see it as she does, you are the loser thereby. Her handling is characterized by boldness which frequently surpasses masculinity, and her coloring is exquisite in its poetic richness and natural delicacy. If the palette knife is needed to produce the effect she does not hesitate to use it." She signed her paintings "Mary A Wright", "MAW" or "Mary A Bartow."

Artist Biographies. .
Century Chest Transcription 50. Special Collections, Tutt Library, Colorado College. .
Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University Deceased from June, 1900 to June 1910.