Bywaters Special Collections Artist Profile: Mary Beasley Nye

Featured in the exhibition Texas Women Artists: Selections from Bywaters Special Collections, on the 2nd floor of Hamon Arts Library.

Mary Beasley Nye was born in 1918 in Texarkana, Texas, but she was brought to Dallas as a young child. A 1933 graduate of Highland Park High School, she attended Southern Methodist University. She later studied art at the University of Texas, Austin and the University of Colorado. Her early art training included several years of study with Dallas artist Otis Dozier and later with Martha Simkins, a portrait painter whose career fluctuated between Dallas and New York City.  During these early years, Nye enjoyed drawing and painting scenes around Dallas neighborhoods and the Texas Hill Country.

In 1937 she married Hermes Nye and together they maintained an active social life in the Dallas art scene.  In 1947 she became the membership secretary for the Dallas Museum of [Fine] Arts.  Although she was not a member of the Texas Printmakers organization, she did do lithographic prints.  In 1947 her print, House in Cripple Creek, was accepted in the Sixth Annual Texas Print Exhibition at the Dallas Museum of [Fine] Arts.

In 1956 Mary Nye and her husband opened Nye Galleries in their home on Hood Street in Dallas where they showcased local artists from the city and state.  The gallery served as a trendy venue for Dallas artists and was a popular gathering spot for musicians and writers during the 1950s and 1960s.  Notable visitors to the gallery included Burl Ives and Van Cliburn.

Mary Nye continued to paint for most of her life.  She died in Dallas in 1998.

Image: Mary Nye, Nye Galleries, ca. early 1960s

Courtesy of Mary Nye Collection, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University

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