Marion Boyd Allen
Boston-bred, patrician portrait painter and landscapist Marion Boyd Allen studied oil painting and watercolor at the Boston Museum School under recognized artists Frank W. Benson, Philip Hale and Edmund Tarbell. Allen’s facile brushwork in both media, and her Impressionist coloration, ensured that her career would rapidly advance, but it was put on hold while the dutiful daughter cared for her ailing mother.
Then, in her early sixties, Marion Boyd Allen headed for the Canadian Rockies and proceeded to scale and paint the mountains with a new-found burst of creative energy. Mrs. Allen was not an athletic woman, but that did not deter her from bumpy car- and horseback rides into remote areas to capture on canvas Native American chiefs and children, and the magical coloration of the Grand Canyon and beyond.
Marion Boyd Allen’s favored vertical format paintings were well received in Boston each year when she returned to the city, and she soon was exhibiting her works at the National Academy of Design in New York, the Pennsylvania Academy of Design in Philadelphia, and the Art Institute in Chicago. Allen was also a member of the National Association of Women Painters, and locally, the Boston Art Club, the Guild of Boston Artists, and the Copley Society.
Marion Boyd Allen’s painting was included in the traveling exhibition The Bostonians: Painters of an Elegant Age, 1870-1930, which premiered in 1986 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and then at the Denver Art Museum and Chicago’s Terra Museum of American Art. Now, over sixty years later, her remarkable paintings and watercolors are appealing to a new audience with a twenty-first century aesthetic sense.