Mary Fairchild MacMonnies Low

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Mary Fairchild MacMonnies Low
Born Mary Fairchild
New Haven, CT
Died 1946
Bronxville, NY
Nationality American
Education St. Louis Art School - Académie Julian -Carolus-Duran
Known for Painter
Spouse(s) Frederick MacMonnies, Will H. Low

Mary Fairchild MacMonnies Low (1858–1946), born in New Haven, Connecticut [1][2] was an American painter who specialized in landscapes, genre paintings, and portraits.


Mary Fairchild MacMonnies Low studied at the St. Louis Art School (where she won a three years' scholarship), and in Paris at the Académie Julian and under Carolus Duran.[1] She had her own studio at 11 Impasse du Maine, (now part of Musée Bourdelle).[3][4]

She married Frederick MacMonnies in 1888 and divorced him in 1909.[5] She married Will H. Low that same year.

Chicago mural[edit]

Mary Fairchild MacMonnies, Mademoiselle Sarah Hallowell, 1886

In April 1892, Low (then MacMonnies) was approached by Sarah Tyson Hallowell, agent for Bertha Palmer, the prime mover behind the Women's Building at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893, to paint one of the two mural tympana planned for the building's interior. The other was Modern Woman, by Mary Cassatt. The topic of Low's mural was Primitive Women and it was by all accounts at the time deemed to be the more successful of the two.[6] These were to be the only murals by these two painters.[7]

She is represented in the Museum of Rouen, France, where she won a gold medal in 1903 and again in 1911. She also won a gold medal at Dresden in 1902, at Marseilles in 1905, and the Julia Shaw prize of the Society of American Artists in 1902. She became an associate of the National Academy of Design.[8][9][10][11][12]


This painting, also known as Tea at Fresco was exhibited at the Chicago Columbian Exposition, where "both the picture and the artist received favorable critical attention." [13]
  • "The Green Butterfly"
  • "Early Morning Flower Market" (1910)
  • "Christmas Eve in the Studio" (1911)
  • "Little Women" (1911)
  • "Portrait of W.H. Low" (1911), National Academy of Design
Will Low was her husband at that time.
  • "Dogwood in Bloom" (1912)
  • "Portrait of E. S. D." (1913)


  1. ^ a b "Low, Mary Fairchild". Union List of Artist Names. J. Paul Getty Trust. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ "MacMonnies Low, Mary". Lafayette Database of American Art. Louvre Museum. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ Collection. terraamericanart
  4. ^ Oxford Index, Grove Encyclopedia of American art
  5. ^$0040null:277/0 Archived 2013-12-20 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Weinmann, Jeanne Madeline, The Fair Women, Academy Chicago, 1981, pp. 191–99, 316–19
  7. ^ Van Hook, Bailey, The Virgin & the Dynamo: Public Murals in American Architecture 1893-1917, Ohio University Press, Athens, 2003 p. 22
  8. ^
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  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ ‘’Revisiting the White City: American Art at the 1893 World’s Fair’’, National Museum of American Art and National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., 1993 p. 189

External links[edit]