The artistic career of Beatrice McComb Ley was greatly varied. Her interests ranged from painting to horticulture, and her educational persistence enabled her to develop new artistic skills throughout her life.
Born in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Ley began experimenting with watercolors at a young age. At the Mount Vernon Seminary and College in Washington, DC, she studied a variety of subjects including domestic science, sewing, and needlework. After traveling in Europe and living in New York, she moved to Little Rock, Arkansas in 1917 with her husband, Thomas N. Doyle, Jr. There, Thomas Doyle managed his family’s prosperous dry goods store and Ley spent the early 1920s designing children’s clothing.
In 1925, Ley’s husband died, and she returned to New York where she registered for The Art Students League. Ley continued to develop her artistic skills while also designing clothing patterns for Vogue
. She went on to study at Traphagen School of Design and continued her artistic education through The Art Students League where she took her first life drawing classes and soon began exhibiting work.
In 1933 Ley married Harrold A. Ley. She continually explored new artistic pursuits, including photography, and set up a studio where she developed her own prints. In 1934, Ley and her husband visited his estate Fernley in New Hampshire where she developed and designed the gardens. Ley spent much of her time in the 1940s and 1950s traveling with her husband in Europe, Mexico, and Peru, painting and collaborating other artists.
Upon her husband's death n 1957, Ley immersed herself in her work and continued traveling to Italy and England. In 1969, at the age of seventy-nine, she began studies in etching at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She continued working on the gardens at Fernley and painted until her death in 1980.
The Art Students League of New York, New York, NY, USA (1925 - 1971)
Pratt Institute, New York, NY, USA (1969)
Ben Magin Rabinovich School, New York, NY, USA (1934)
Traphagen School of Design, New York, NY, USA (1929 - 1931)
Columbia University, New York, NY, USA (1925)
Noyes Rhythm School, New York, NY, USA (1914 - 1916)
Mount Vernon Seminary and College, Washington, DC, USA (1908 - 1910)
student of George Bridgman
student of Eliot O'Hara
student of George Grosz
student of Byron Browne
student of Charles Alston
student of Will Barnet
student of Nathan Cabot Hale
student of Mario Cooper
student of Howard Trafton
student of Paul Brockman
student of Leonard Creo
influenced by Frederick Taubes
influenced by John Sloan
influenced by Edward Steichen
influenced by Paul Cézanne