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 his three daughters Edith Ethel (17 January 1870-3 February 1954), Mary born 1872 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 a couple of years on the continent with her mother and sisters and in London studied at Pelham Street Studios under Erskine Nicol (1825-1904) and at the Royal Academy Schools 1894-1899 where she took four medals including one for a a model of a bust from life in 1895 and a painting of a head from life in 1898. She married at Kensington, London in 1899, artist John Young Hunter [q.v.], when they spent 8 months in Italy taking a studio in Florence, returning to England via Munich, Brussels and Antwerp and she added 'Young' as her middle name. 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. Mary began exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1900, showing 'The Denial' and 'The Duke's High Dame' and the following year 'Joy and the Labourer' and continued exhibiting until 1913. She also exhibited at the Society of Women Artists 1900-1901 and the Royal Glasgow Institute 1901-1903. A member of the Society of Painters in Tempera and became an Associate of the Society of Women Artist in 1901. On 20 June 1913 they 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 she was living at Pacific Grove, Monterey County, California, USA, where she died on 8 September 1947. Her two sisters were both unmarried.

Works by This Artist