Early life and education
In 1894, the Alice Kimball English Prize (established to support summer travel) was awarded to Foote. The William Wirt Winchester Prize (which funded two years of study in Europe) was awarded to Foote in 1897. Foote travelled to Paris, France.
She worked and studied in France for seven years, becoming involved with a crowd of artists including John Singer Sargent, James McNeil Whistler, Frederick William MacMonnies, Ellen Emmet, Cecilia Beaux, and Mabel Dodge. She had dazzling brushwork. In 1901, she returned to New York City to set up a studio on Washington Square where she earned a comfortable living from her portrait commissions; her list of clients reads as a Who's Who of the art scene of her day. Foote painted a wide range of subjects including portraits, figures, florals, and landscapes.
During the 1920s, she shared her studio and had a relationship with Frederick MacMonnies, and went into a deep depression after it ended. She sought treatment from Smith Ely Jelliffe, and in 1927 closed down her studio and went to Zurich to see Swiss psychotherapist Carl Jung. Beginning in 1928, she worked for Jung, first transcribing his seminars and editing Jung's English phrasing, and then producing the bound copies for their participants.
In the 1930s, Foote had a secret liaison with Harvard-educated German businessman Ernst Hanfstaengl. She returned to Connecticut shortly before her death; her obituary listed her as being Jung's "secretary."
- Bair, Deirdre (2004). Jung: A Biography. Little, Brown & Company. pp. 360–63. ISBN 0-316-15938-7.
- Mary Foote, John Pence Gallery
- Mary Foote, American Women in the Arts, Yale University (includes photographs of Mary Foote)