Featured in the exhibition Texas Women Artists: Selections from Bywaters Special Collections, on the 2nd floor of Hamon Arts Library.
Mary Frances Doyle (1904 – 2000) was known as both a dedicated art teacher and an outstanding printmaker, particularly with the silk-screen, or serigraph, technique. Doyle was born in Stephenville, Texas to Davis K. Doyle, a Texas newspaperman, and his wife. Doyle lived most of her adult life with her parents in Arlington, Texas. In 1930 she earned her Bachelors of Art degree from Southwest Texas State Teachers’ College in San Marcos, Texas. She liked to recall one of her fellow classmates, Lyndon Baines Johnson, also working his way through school, sweeping out the classroom where she taught a demonstration kindergarten group. The future US president would ask her opinion on particular political issues and then listen to her views while continuing to swing his broom. In 1939 Doyle moved to Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York, where she studied with Charles J. Martin, and in 1948 earned a Master of Arts degree from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. She also studied with distinguished Texas artists including Otis Dozier and Octavio Medellin at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts school, and Xavier Gonzales at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.
In 1935 Doyle began a 37-year long teaching career in the Dallas Independent School District teaching art at the Alamo, Thomas Edison, and City Park schools. Dedicated to her career and to her students, Doyle’s strove to develop the artistic ability of each child regardless of financial background. In addition, she was active in the Dallas Art Education Club, serving as its president during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Doyle was instrumental in helping to organize children’s exhibitions at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts where she worked as an instructor at various times during the 1940s through the early 1970s. When not teaching or working on her art, Doyle enjoyed collecting Latin American crafts.
A prolific artist, mainly as a printmaker, Doyle was active in exhibiting her work in galleries, museums, and with the Texas Printmakers organization (formerly the Printmakers Guild). In 1940 her oil painting Water Front was included in the Eleventh Annual Allied Arts Exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, now the Dallas Museum of Art. During the 1950s Doyle’s prints were accepted into major exhibitions. In 1955 her print Texas Oranges was exhibited in the Audubon Artists 13th Annual Exhibition at the National Academy Galleries in New York. Two of her serigraphs were accepted in the Southwestern Exhibition of Prints and Drawings exhibitions sponsored by the Dallas Print Society at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts: Honeydew Melon (6th Southwestern Exhibition of Prints and Drawings, 1956) and Cactus in Bloom (9th Southwestern Exhibition of Prints and Drawings, 1959). In 1958 Cactus in Bloom won “Best Serigraph in Show” at the Print Fair conducted by Creative Graphics at Burr Galleries in New York City and was accepted into the Boston Printmakers 11th Annual Print Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In the same year she had a solo exhibition sponsored by the Texas Fine Arts Association at the Laguna Gloria Art Museum in Austin, Texas, and a year later was included in the show Postwar Prints: 1946 – 1959 at the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts. In 1960 Doyle was again accepted into the Boston Printmakers’ 13th Annual Print Exhibition with her serigraph Twin Mountains. Doyle’s work was represented from the 1950s through the 1970s in distinguished Dallas galleries including the Black Tulip Gallery, Downtown Galleries, and Cushing Galleries. In February, 1960, her work was accepted into the Philadelphia Second Annual Print Fair. Thirty years later Mary Doyle and her contemporaries were honored in the exhibition The Texas Printmakers, at the Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University. Mary Doyle died on Sept. 5, 2000 in Denton, Texas.
Image: Century Plant, Serigraph, 1961, original dimensions (image): 29 ¾” (H) x 11”
Courtesy of Mary Doyle Collection, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University