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Anne Ryan papers, circa 1905-1970

Biographical Note

Anne Ryan (1889-1954) was a painter, printmaker, collagist, graphic artist and author who primarily worked in New York City, but also in New Jersey and Spain.
Anne Ryan was born in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1889. She attended St. Elizabeth's Academy and College. She married lawyer William J. McFadden and had three children – William, Elizabeth and Thomas. They lived in Newark, New Jersey and divorced in 1923. Ryan often went to Greenwich Village in New York City and was something of a fixture in the arts and literary community. In 1925 she published a book of poetry, Lost Hills, and her novel Raquel was also published around this time.
Around 1931, Ryan moved to Spain and lived there for roughly four years, mostly in Mallorca and Ibiza, though she traveled to Paris as well. She then returned to New York City and moved into 124 West Fourth Street, which was occupied by many artists and writers. She opened a restaurant called The Hearthstone in the building's basement.
Ryan began painting around 1938. Artist Hans Hofmann lived nearby and visited her studio to provide encouragement, telling her to pursue her own course artistically and not to seek formal instruction. Ryan's first exhibition was in 1941. During this time she joined the printmaking studio Atelier 17 run by British artist William Stanley Hayter who had fled from Paris, France due to World War II. Thanks to the studio, Ryan befriended many European expatriate artists and started making woodblock prints and engravings.
In 1948, Ryan saw an exhibition of collages by Kurt Schwitters that inspired her to begin creating collages herself. During her late career, she made hundreds of collages and had multiple exhibitions at Betty Parsons Gallery in New York City. Ryan was also a prolific writer and many of her short stories and travel essays were published in magazines and periodicals. She died in 1954 in Morristown, New Jersey.