Mary Townsend Mason

Life Dates

Born in Zanesville, Ohio, Mary Townsend Mason first sought art classes at the Leachwood School in Norfolk Virginia, and then later on, at the Maryland Institute in Baltimore. She later moved to Philadelphia to take courses at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), studying under the painters William Chase and Hugh Breckenridge. In 1909 she married to a distinguished lawyer, William Clarke Mason.

She was awarded the Cresson European Scholarship from PAFA, two gold medals from the Plastic Club, and the Philadelphia Sketch Club Golf Medal among numerous others over the course of her lifetime. Mary exhibited work at PAFA regularly from 1921 - 1964, and in many other institutions and events including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Venice Biennale and International Expo

She has also posed for numerous studies and a portrait by friend and fellow artist Violet Oakley.

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  • Greetings, I have two lovely paintings that my mother gifted me from Ms. Mary T. Mason. I am not sure if Ms. Mason was friends with my great grandmother, Marion Royster Stewart, my great Aunt Willa Ward by marriage, my great Aunt Christine Royster Lane or my great grandmother Augusta. Nonetheless, I am truly looking forward to learning more about her artwork and I am grateful to have the family treasures.

    Leona Baker