Mary Whyte

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Mary Whyte (born 1953 in Cleveland, Ohio) is an American watercolor artist, a traditionalist preferring a representational style,[1] and the author of six published books, who has earned awards for her large-scale watercolors.[2] In 2016, the Portrait Society of America chose Whyte as the 2016 recipient of the Society’s Gold Medal, their highest honor.[3][4] In 2013, Whyte was awarded by the state of South Carolina, as the recipient of the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts; the highest honor given to an artist in South Carolina.[5]

Whyte presents her large-scale watercolor portraits in museum exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally including the Working South[6] exhibition of paintings of people working in vanishing industries throughout the southern United States. "Mary Whyte is the artist of record of a changing world. . . a world she's captured in a style all her own,"[7] says CBS News. In Whyte’s Working South exhibition of 50 works that aired on CBS News, Whyte proclaimed about her work: "Getting a likeness is the easy part, making a good painting that endures, that speaks forever is the difficult part."[7]

Whyte has works in corporate, university, private, and museum collections, and has exhibited nationally including the Greenville County Museum of Art, Butler Institute of American Art, Gibbes Museum of Art, The Salmagundi Club, National Arts Club, Mennello Museum of American Art, Telfair Museums, Morris Museum of Art, and internationally in the China and Foreign Countries International Watercolour Summit at the Nanning Art Gallery in Nanning China,[8] and Thailand in the World Watermedia Exposition.

Published works[edit]

  • Down Bohicket Road, University of South Carolina Press, 2012 ISBN 978-1-61117-100-6
  • Working South, University of South Carolina Press, 2011 ISBN 978-1-57003-966-9
  • Painting Portraits and Figures in Watercolor, Watson-Guptill, 2011 ISBN 978-0-8230-2673-9
  • An Artist’s Way of Seeing, Gibbs Smith, 2005 ISBN 978-0941711753
  • Alfreda’s World, Wyrick and Company, 2003 ISBN 978-0941711777
  • Watercolor for the Serious Beginner, Watson-Guptill, 1997 ISBN 978-0823056606

Selected bibliography[edit]


  1. ^ Severens, Martha, Preface in More Than a Likeness: The Enduring Art of Mary Whyte South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 2013
  2. ^ "Five Questions: Mary Whyte". Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  3. ^ "Arts in Brief". Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  4. ^ "SC artist Mary Whyte to receive Portrait Society's Gold Medal - SC Arts Hub". Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  5. ^ "The Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Awards". Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  6. ^ Whyte, Mary, Working South South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 2011, ISBN 978-1-57003-966-9
  7. ^ a b "Preserving on Canvas a Vanishing Way of Life". Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  8. ^ "Colors of Whyte Lowcountry Artist Travels to China for Watercolor Summit". Retrieved 2017-03-26.