Mary Morris Vaux received a set of watercolor paints at age eight and began experimenting with painting flowers. After her mother's death when Mary was nineteen, she assumed the responsibility of looking after her two younger brothers and her father.
District of Columbia
Gene Davis was a journalist before beginning to paint, and worked for a short time as a White House correspondent. He created his first painting when he was twenty-nine, and spent several years experimenting with abstract expressionism.
Alice Pike Barney was an influential figure in Washington, D.C.'s social and artistic scene in the early 1900s. She began to pursue art seriously after she was married with two children.
Hiram Powers was one of the first American artists to achieve international recognition, and through his fame, helped to elevate the role of sculpture in nineteenth-century America.
Jacob Kainen moved to New York at a young age and began studying drawing at the Art Students League, the Pratt Institute School of Art, and the New York University School of Architecture.
Charles Bird King studied portraiture in New York and later with Benjamin West at the Royal Academy in London. Upon his return to America, he spent seven years traveling the East Coast in search of portrait commissions.
Alexander Bogardy immigrated to America as a young child and settled in Baltimore. He changed careers frequently during his life, spending time as a violinist, boxer, mechanical engineer, and cosmetologist before he turned to painting.
Born in rural Ohio, Holmes supplemented his training as a scientist with art lessons in Washington, D.C. His career began in 1872 with the government-sponsored Hayden Survey, on which he served as official geologist and artist, traveling through Wyoming and Colorado.
Born c. 1813 (or 1823) in Bulgaria. Studied art in Paris. Immigrated to the U.S. with the English ethnologist William Blackmore and his expeditionary party, about 1845. Was in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington during the 1860s. Lived in Washington, D.C., 1876–99.