Anne Ryan Biography

Anne Ryan





Anne Ryan, painter, printmaker, author, and poet, was born in Hoboken, New Jersey to wealthy Irish parents on July 20, 1889. She attended local parochial schools and then studied literature at St. Elizabeth’s College near Morristown. In 1925, her book of poetry, Lost Hills, was published and the publication of her novel, Raquel, followed the next year.

Ryan moved to Majorca in 1931 as an independent woman with three children. In 1933, she returned to New York in 1933 and settled into a Bohemian lifestyle in Greenwich Village where she was part of an extended circle of modernist painters including Hans Hofmann, Barnet Newman, Jackson Pollock and Tony Smith. She supported her family through her writing but explored other outlets for her creativity. Ryan created stage designs and dance costumes, and worked in ceramic tile. In 1938 she began painting and, in 1941, she made her first print at Stanley William Hayter's Atelier 17 located in the New School for Social Research and that same year she had her first solo exhibition at the Pinacotheca Gallery. Four years later she explored the technique of color woodcut with Louis Schanker who invited her to join his Vanguard group of printmakers and her work was included in their exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in 1946. Ryan became interested in collage after viewing the collages of Kurt Schwitters in 1948. The Betty Parsons Gallery mounted an exhibition of her collages and paintings in 1950.

Anne Ryan's work is represented in the collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Kemper Art Museum, the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Newark Museum, the Portland Art Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Walker Art Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Worcester Art Museum.

Anne Ryan died in Morristown, New Jersey on April 17, 1954.