In the 1890s, impressionist painter Mary Brady was one of the most progressive artists of her day. She was the first California woman to spend significant time working in Giverny, France, and was influenced by Claude Monet and the other international artists who flocked to Giverny to be near his famous studio.
Born in Ireland, Brady came to California with her family in 1880. She began her art studies at the California School of Design in the mid-1880s, and continued her training in France at the Académie Julian in Paris. She spent more than two months in Giverny beginning in late September 1889 and made subsequent visits in the spring of 1890 and the fall of 1892. Upon her return, she began to frequent the Monterey Peninsula, applying her newly learned Impressionist techniques to the California landscape. Along with painter Evelyn McCormick (1869-1948), Brady is credited with attracting other artists to Monterey, helping to establish it as a mecca of art.
By 1898, Brady returned to her native San Jose, and later moved back to San Francisco. She lived briefly in Monterey in the 1920s and died in Santa Clara.