Place Published: NP
Date Published: ND
Paper size: 5-3/8 x 7-1/2 inches
Image size: 3-1/4 x 5-1/2 inches
Unsigned bookplate for Mary E. Dignam
Mary Ella Dignam (née Williams) (1857–1938) (Born Mary Ella Williams) was a Canadian painter, teacher, and art organizer best remembered as the founder and first president of the Women's Art Association of Canada encouraged and supported by Lady Aberdeen, wife of the seventh Governor General. She studied art at the Western School of Art and Design in London, Ontario. In 1886 she went to New York City to further her training at the Art Students League, followed by time in Paris, France. In 1886, Dignam founded the Women's Art Club, which later evolved into the WAAC. During her presidency (1887-1913, 1935-1938). Following her return to Canada in 1891, she taught at a ladies' art school in Toronto, Ontario and later organized the first Art Studios of Moulton Ladies' College at McMaster University. She later helped organize the International Society of Women Painters and Sculptors and in 1900, founded the first all-women international art exhibition calling on Women's Art Association members & Women's International Art.