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Mary Spencer Nay

1913 - 1993

Born in Crestwood, KY.
Married Lou Block, an artist and faculty member at the University of Louisville
She was turned down for the first class at the Art Center School because of the number of applicants, in 1925, but later became its director

Her biography from Kentucky Women Artists: 1850-1970

Fayette Barnum (1925)
Art Center Assn. School, Louisville (ca.1931-ca.1936);
University of Louisville (B.A., 1942; M.A. under the direction of Ulfert Wilke, 1961);
Florence Cane School, New York;
Art Students League, NYC (with Yasuo Kuniyoshi, George Grosz and Will Barnet);
Cincinnati Art Academy (lithography);
Provincetown MA (summers, with Boris Margo);
International School of Art, Mexico City (1946, with Carlos Merida).

Art Center Association, school director 1940-1959

University of Louisville 1959 -  , Distinguished Professor of Art Education 1971, Marcia S. Hite Professor. 1975
Art Center Association school, 1935-1959

J.B. Speed Art Museum (1939, 1976);
Paducah Junior College (1940);
University of Louisville (1946, 1950);
Art Center Gallery, Louisville (1953);
University of Kentucky (1955);
Huntington Galleries, Huntington, WV (1957);
Morehead State Teachers College (1963);
Ruth White Gallery, New York (1963);
Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences (1964);
Merida Gallery, Louisville (1966);
Seaton House, Jeffersontown, KY (1971);
Frame House Gallery, Louisville (1971);
Thor Gallery, Louisville (1974);
Third Annual National Exhibition of American Art, Fine Arts Society, New York (1938);
Gallery of American Art Today, New York World's Fair (1939);
Artists for Victory, Metropolitan Museum of Art (1939);
Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art (1940);
First International Exhibition of Contemporary Color Lithography, Cincinnati Art Museum (1950);
60th Annual Exhibition of American Painting, Chicago Art Institute (1951);
Annual Minneapolis Print Show (1952);
Terry National Art Exhibit, Miami (1952);
Florida National Art Exhibition, Florida Southern College (1952);
Second International Exhibition of Color Lithography, Cincinnati Art Museum (1952);
61st Annual Exhibition of American Art, Chicago Art Institute (1954);
Third International Exhibition of Color Lithography, Cincinnati Art Museum (1954);
10th Annual Print Show, Brooklyn Museum (1956);
Second Rowland Traveling Exhibition of Cape Cod Artists (1959);
Contemporary American Water-Color Show, Grand Rapids (1963).
Louisville Art Association 1932, 1933, 1936, 1937, 1940
Kentucky Expatriates, Owensboro KY 1984
Kentucky Women Artists: 1850-1970, Owensboro Museum of Fine Arts,The Kentucky Museum and Library, 2001

Art Center Annual, J.B. Speed Art Museum (1945, 1950, 1958, first purchase awards);
Terry National Art Exhibit, Miami (1952, Honorable Mention);
Tri-State Exhibit, Evansville Museum (1952, purchase award);
9th Annual West Virginia Regional, Parkersburg, WV (1953, second prize);
Kentucky State Fair (1954, first purchase award for its collection of Kentucky artists);
Ohio Valley Exhibit, Ohio University (1954, purchase award);
Interior Valley Exhibit, Cincinnati Art Museum (1955, prize);
Kentucky State Fair (1958, purchase award).

Provincetown Art Association and Museum
Provincetown Public Library
Speed Art Museum, Louisville KY
IBM Collection, NY World's Fair
Citizens Bank, Glasgow KY
Seagram's, KY

"Dune Country." Oil, rice paper, gold leaf and silver leaf on canvas, 26" x 48", 1961.  "Dune Country" was one of 24 paintings in Nay's November 1961 Louisville Art Center Association exhibition.

Portrait of Mary Alice Hadley, 1941
Oil on canvas, 36 x 26-1/8 inches
Collection, The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky

mural in the Louisville Free Public Library children's room


Tapestry of an Art Association 1909-1984

Kentucky Women Artists: 1850-2000 - Owensboro Museum of Art, The Kentucky Museum and Library (catalog) - 2001

Archival materials:

Jan Gelb and Boris Margo Papers
Syracuse University

Who's Who in Kentucky Art (1955)
Bridwell Art Library, University of Louisville