Born on the Estonian island of Hiiumaa, Lydia Mei was the middle child of the three daughters of a ship's captain. All three sisters would become artists, with Lydia Mei and Natalie Mei achieving public prominence during the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) period of Estonian art of the 1920s and sister Kristine Mei becoming a sculptor.
Mei studied architecture at the Petrograd Women's Polytechnic Institute until 1918. But she became famous as a watercolorist in late 1920s. She later married sculptor Anton Starkopf and is occasionally credited with the name Lydia Mei-Starkopf. She died in 1965 in the capital city of Tallinn.
- Pihlak, Elvi: "Lydia Mei - Natüürmortide ja lillemaalide meister" in: Kunst Vol. 1962,1 pgs 16-20. Tallinn.
- Self Portrait (1931) retrieved May 3, 2007
- Mai Lewin : Neue Sachlichkeit in Estonian Art retrieved May 3, 2007
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