Skip to main content

Mary Cecil Allen papers, 1928-1970

Allen, Mary Cecil, 1893-1962

Painter, Educator


Collection Information

Size: 2 Volumes

Summary: A scrapbook, ca. 1934-1962, containing clippings, pamphlets, and photographs; the bulk are Australian press clippings from 1935-1936 when Allen was in Melbourne; and Allen's book, The Mirror of the Passing World (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1928). Inserted in the book are a letter to Elisabeth Hooker, 1970, and a snapshot of Allen with the painters Henry and Ada Hensche and art shop owner, Will Rogers, in the Hensche's house, Provincetown, Mass.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, teacher, lecturer; Melbourne, Australia, New York, N.Y. and Provincetown, Mass. She was also known as Cecil Allen and Mary Cecil. Allen was born in Australia. She studied at the National Gallery of Victoria for several years, and briefly at the Slade School in London. In 1927, she accepted an invitation to lecture on art for the People's Institute, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation. The lectures formed the basis for her two books, The Mirror of the Passing World (1928) and Painters of the Modern Mind (1929), and for her successful lifelong career as a lecturer. She returned to Melbourne during 1935-1936, where she lectured on modern art and exhibited her work. From 1950 until her death she lived in Provincetown, Mass., returning to Australia in 1950 and 1959-1960 to exhibit and lecture. She died in Provincetown on April 7, 1962.


Donated 1996 by Elisabeth Hooker. Hooker was a friend of Allen's and found the papers among Allen's effects soon after her death.

Language Note

Undetermined .

How to Use This Collection

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Mary Cecil Allen papers, 1928-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.