HUNTER, Mary Young

1872 - 1947

Mary Young Hunter

As Mary Towgood, she was born at Tongoio, Napier, New Zealand on 11 April 1872, daughter of Welsh born Edward Towgood (1837-18 March 1882), a sheep farmer, and his New Zealand born wife Edith Emma née Tylee (1849-4 August 1919), who married in New Zealand in 1869. Edward Towgood died at 87 Oxford Terrace, London on 18 March 1882 leaving a substantial New Zealand estate to be managed by trustees, with his wife to receive a £700 annuity and afterwards to go to his three daughters Edith Ethel (17 January 1870-3 February 1954), Mary, and Stephanie Emma (2 April 1877-22 September 1949). On 21 November 1894, Mary together with her mother and sisters, emigrated, via Australia, to England. Mary studied at Mrs Wheatcroft's Art Classes at 27 Rivers Street, Bath spending two years on the continent with her mother and sisters before studying at Pelham Street Studios in London under Erskine Nicol (1825-1904) and at the Royal Academy Schools 1894-1899 where she took four medals including one for a model of a bust from life in 1895 and a painting of a head from life in 1898. Mary married at Kensington, London in 1899, artist John Young Hunter when she added 'Young' as her middle name, they spent 8 months in Italy taking a studio in Florence, returning to England via Munich, Brussels, and Antwerp. In 1903, husband and wife, held a joint exhibition of over forty works in oil and watercolour at the Fine Art Society when 'The Studio' (Vol. 28. May 1903), in an illustrated article, described them as 'new Pre-Raphaelites' and as 'Romantics'. At this time, they were living at Giffords Hall, Wickhambrook, Suffolk where their daughter, Gabrielle Young Hunter, was born on 4 May 1905. In 1911, 38-year-old Mary 'artist painter' was living at 9 Launceston Place, Kensington with her 36-year-old 'artist painter' husband and 5-year-old daughter Gabrielle (4 May 1905-6 August 1978), keeping three indoor servants. As Mary Y Hunter she began exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1900 also showing at the Society of Women Artists 1900-1901 and the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1901-1903. A member of the Society of Painters in Tempera and became an Associate of the Society of Women Artists in 1901. On 20 June 1913 Mary and her husband sailed on the 'Victorian' to Montreal, Canada but they had divorced by 1921. Mary moved to Berkeley, California and in 1924 exhibited with the Berkeley League of Fine Arts and the San Francisco Art Association and in 1930 at the California State Fair. In 1940 Mary Young Hunter was living at Pacific Grove, Monterey County, California, USA, where she died on 8 September 1947. Her two sisters were both unmarried.

Royal Academy Exhibits
from c/o C. Hunter, 14 Melbury Road, Kensington
1900 506 The Denial
         841 The Duke's High Dame
from 5 Edwardes Square Studios, Kensington
1901 497 Joy and the Labourer
         729 Italian Garden
from 14 Melbury Road, Kensington
1903 553 The Nightingale
         693 The Road-Mender
from Gifford’s Hall, Wickhambrook, Suffolk
1904 429 Filson Young, Esq.
         558 The Bride-Elect
         881 The Wanderer
1905 335 Blue Fantails
1906 60 The Bow in the Cloud
         1027 Head of a Child
from 1 Cathcart Studios, Cathcart Road, London SW
1908 71 Playmates
         582 Gabrielle
from 9 Launceston Place, Kesington
1909 339 'Once upon a Time'
1910 416 'Wee Willie Winkle'
         814 Red Slippers
         916 The First-Born
1912 154 Robert Evelyn, son of Sir Arthur Mackenzie of Coul
1913 776 Launcelot, son of W. Dawes, Esq.
1914 62 A Little Girl in Grey
         594 Margaret and Helen, daughters of Viscount and Viscountess Castlereagh

Works by This Artist