Anne Ryan was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. She studied at Columbia University and spent most of her career in New York. During the 1930s, she lived for several years in Spain, writing short stories and essays. After returning to New York, she produced color woodcuts, including The Pink Star and Tenements in a Sea Town (both 1946), influenced by folk woodcuts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Ryan was a member of the artistic circle that flourished in New York City's Greenwich Village during the 1920s. She wrote poetry, made prints and paintings, and designed ballet costumes and stage scenery. Ryan is best known, however, for her collages of unusual textiles and papers.
[This is an excerpt from the interactive companion program to the videodisc American Art from the National Gallery of Art. Produced by the Department of Education Resources, this teaching resource is one of the Gallery's free-loan educational programs.]