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Maud Hunt Squire

Maud Hunt Squire (b. 1873, Cincinnati, OH – d. 1954, Vence, France) was a painter, printmaker and book illustrator who first gained an international reputation for her color intaglio prints and vivid pastel drawings. She later achieved recognition for her spectacular Provincetown prints, the only few series of block color prints that she made during the 1910s and 1920s.

Mary Ryan Gallery held a groundbreaking Squire and Ethel Mars exhibition in 2000 and published “Très Complementaires: The Art and Lives of Ethel Mars and Maud Hunt Squire” with an essay by Catherine Ryan. More than 50 of their prints were bought by museums from this exhibition. In 2005 the gallery included Squire’s work in the exhibition, “The French Connection: The Art of Ada Gilmore, Edna Boies Hopkins, Blanche Lazzell, Ethel Mars, Mildred McMillen and Maud Hunt Squire.” Mary Ryan Gallery has been a pioneer in exhibiting and promoting  the prints of these modern American women artists.

Squire was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She enrolled at the Cincinnati Art Academy when she was 21 for the equivalent of a graduate school education in art. There she met Hopkins and Mars and studied with L.H. Meakin and Frank Duveneck. While still in school, both Squire and Mars were published children’s book illustrators. In 1906, Squire settled in Paris with Mars, her lifetime companion. By 1907, she was successfully selling and exhibiting works in important exhibitions in Paris and America. Squire continued to illustrate books professionally and often traveled back and forth from France to New York to meet with publishers.

Squire and Mars were both part of Gertrude Stein’s circle, and were present the evening that Alice B. Toklas met Matisse for the first time. In 1907, Stein immortalized Mars and Squire in her early word portrait, “Miss Furr and Miss Skeene” (1908-11).

Squire left Paris with Mars at the outset of World War One and settled in Provincetown, MA in 1915. There, she made her first woodblock prints. Their extraordinarily modulated colors were influenced by Squire’s extensive experience in color intaglio. Squire, along with Mars, Blanche Lazzell, Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt, Ada Gilmore and Mildred McMillen were part of the original group of artists known for their white line woodcuts, called Provincetown prints.

After WWI, Squire and Mars settled in Vence in southern France. They were both active in an artists colony that included Marsden Hartley, Chaim Soutine, Reginald Marsh and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. Squire resumed painting and drawing, producing large watercolors and landscape paintings, some of café scenes in French Riviera seaport towns. Squire stopped all artistic work after the early 1930s. During WWII, Mars and Squire went into hiding near Grenoble, France. Squire died at their home, La Farigoule, in Vence in 1954. She and Mars are buried in a dual cemetery in France.

Squire’s work is in numerous museum collections, including the Amon Carter Museum, TX; Cincinnati Art Museum, IN; Davis Museum, Wellesley College, MA; Detroit Institute of Arts, MI; Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN; Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, AL; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, NY; Musée franco-américain du château de Blérancou, FR; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. and the Worcester Art Museum, MA.

Squire’s woodcuts were included in the exhibition and accompanying catalogue, From Paris to Provincetown: Blanche Lazzell and the Color Woodcut at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The exhibition traveled to the Cleveland Museum of Art. Most recently, Squire's work was featured in The Provincetown Printmakers, a landmark survey of Provincetown prints held by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2023.
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