Born in 1878 in Philadelphia to John and Mary Watts, Anna Coleman Ladd (née Watts) was educated in private schools and Europe. She also studied in America under Charles Grafly.
She moved to Boston in 1905 and married Boston pediatrician Maynard Ladd with whom she had two daughters, Gabriella May Ladd and Vernon Abbott Ladd . Working in her studio on Clarendon Street, Ladd became one of the city's most prolific sculptors, creating fountain pieces, portrait busts, memorials, and reliefs in addition to authoring two novels, Hieronymus Rides in 1912, and The Candid Adventurer in 1913.
Between 1907 and 1915, Ladd had solo exhibitions at the Gorham Gallery in New York, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Pennsylvania Academy in Philadelphia. She was also invited to exhibit her bronzes at the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco. In 1914 she executed a bronze statuette of Eleanora Duse for which the actress posed, and later completed portrait busts of Anna Pavlova and Ethel Barrimore.
In late 1917 in Paris, Ladd founded the American Red Cross Studio for Portrait-Masks to provide cosmetic masks to be worn by men who had been badly disfigured in World War I. Her services earned her the Légion d'Honneur Crois de Chevalier and the Serbian Order of Saint Sava.
For many years, Ladd maintained a summer studio "Arden" at Beverly Farms in Manchester, Massachusetts. In 1923, she received an honorary degree of Master of Arts from Tufts College.
Anna Coleman Ladd died June 3, 1939 in Santa Barbara, California.