Born at Boisdale, Cape Breton, Nova Scota; deaf at age 2 either from mumps or scarlet fever; 4-year-old sister Sadie was also deafened by the same disease. Graduated the Halifax School for the Deaf, 1900-1908. Her art talent being recognized even before she entered school, she took art lessons at the Victoria School for the Arts while still in the deaf school. A 1912 scholarship let her study further at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, then she went into freelance art work, mostly portraits. After WWI, returned to the Halifax School for the Deaf to teach art until marrying John Maxcy, a deaf printer from New York, and moved to NYC. Became a leading illustrator, especially for books and for the F.A.O. Schwarz toy company. Her husband died in 1952; about 1962, she moved to Natick, MA to live with her deaf sister Sadie. While there, she did the series of watercolors that depict her life as a young deaf farm girl at the turn of the century. Many of these illustrations were posthumously collected and published in a book called Silent Observer (1993).
Deaf Artists in America, p.144-149.
28 October 1889-1981