Marion Terry, Miami Sunday Morning, casein 13.75 by 18.5 inches, signed lower left Marion Terry, 49. 

This painting provided by Charles Parkinson Jr. of Winter Haven. Parkinson’s father, Dr. Charles Parkinson had a dental office on 9th Street in St. Petersburg and purchased it directly from Terry when she moved to St. Petersburg. 


A Hoosier by birth, Marion Terry spent most of her life in Florida, first in Miami and later in St. Petersburg. She lived briefly in Miami in 1939 and then, after a three-year absence, returned in 1942 to open, with her husband E. B. Terry, the Terry School of Fine Art at 2100 West Flagler Street. Terry, wanting to make a contribution to the community, because of a growing list of casualties in the war, dedicated three years to a project of painting portraits of all Dade County men who were killed. The portraits, all 16 by 20 inches, were done from photographs loaned by the families. Nearly 400 portraits were done. Terry commented, “When you saw them all displayed together, it was a wonderful argument against war.”  

With the GI Bill and a post-World War II demand for commercial art, the Terry School soon became the largest art school in South Florida, graduating 200 students, many of them veterans, in a two-year course in commercial art. Artists who worked as instructors with Terry in Miami included Arthur Munn, Nancy Russell, Bertha Cowan and Helen Hoodmaker. By 1951 there were 496 students enrolled when the school, now renamed the Terry Art Institute, moved to a larger studio with 24,000 square feet of space at 2323 S.W. 27th Avenue. The Terrys opened a separate Negro Art Institute on N.W. 27th Ave with 143 registered black students.

Terry loved ballet, and when the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo came to Miami she asked permission to go back stage, sketching during the performances. Her ballet paintings in oil were exhibited at the Norton Gallery and the Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, and in Miami, her “All Ballet” exhibit, was a sellout. Later, her passion for ballet continued in paintings of the Bolshoi Ballet, Miami Ballet and the Suncoast Ballet.

The Terry Institute sponsored a Terry National Art Exhibit at Dinner Key Auditorium with a first prize of $5,000. In 1952 the total prize money was $18,000. By 1953 the total enrollment at the Institute was 700 and the faculty now included prominent Miami artists Paul Laessle and Chester Tingler. In the preceding years Terry had painted murals for Florida east coast restaurants, done commercial illustrations for Florida businesses and the Miami Metropolitan Fishing Tournament. Her painting of the Driftwood Inn in St. Petersburg was chosen for publication in the Ford Times article, Favorite Recipes of Famous Taverns and her work was included in the Ford traveling exhibit at the Tampa Art Institute.

Terry had been president of the Terry Art Institute in Miami for eleven fulfilling years when for some reason, perhaps Miami was getting too crowded, at the end of the winter season she moved north to St. Petersburg.

Terry introduced herself to the greater St. Petersburg community with a three day, “Old Fashioned County Fair” at Craft Village on Fourth Street North. The St Petersburg Times had display ads inviting, “Come One! Come All! The occasion of this festivity is the opening of Marion Terry’s Cottage Classes, dozens of artists and craftsmen will be at work.” Events included the raising of the Flag by Mayor Johnson, Craft Village’s Santa Claus, artist demonstrations and a barn yard banquet and folk dancing.

Terry taught art at the Craft Village for the next twenty years. On September 27, 1959 the Sunday edition of the St. Petersburg Times had a special section, Mark 75, in celebration of its 75th year publishing and the growth of the greater Tampa Bay area. Her original painting was on the cover with the caption, “Marion Terry, a noted St. Petersburg artist and teachers’ conception of this issues theme—religion, education, culture and leisure, is a semi-abstractly portrayed in a flow of human activity to a supreme, divine level.”

Marion Terry, The Bathers. oil on board, 17 by 32 inches. Exhibited, Florida Federation of Art 35th Annual.

Born: 1911, Evansville, Indiana. Died: 1984, St. Petersburg. Education: Albright Art School; Buffalo Art Institute; University of Buffalo; Cape School of Art, Provincetown, Massachusetts; University of Florida; with Xavier Gonzalez. Membership: Florida Federation of Art; Florida Artist Group; Art Club of St. Petersburg; Creative Arts Group of Tampa Bay; Art League of Manatee County; Society of The Four Arts; Blue Dome Fellowship. Exhibits: Florida Federation of Art, 1938; Blue Dome Fellowship, Miami Beach Public Library and Art Center, January-February 1942, Isabelle and Poinsettia; Blue Dome Gallery of the College Cupboard, Giralda Avenue, Coral Gables, February-March 1942 with Rosebud Clephane, Phoebe, Patsy, two Miami Beach landscapes; Miami Woman’s Club, February 1944; Miami Art League, at Marion Terry Gallery, 2100 West  Flagler, May 1944, Country Road and Phoebe; Florida Federation of Art, 18th Annual, Sarasota, December 1944, honorable mention, portrait; Terry Art Gallery, 2100 West Flagler, November 1945; Terry Art Gallery, 2100 West Flagler, November 1946, All Florida Subjects; Housekeepers Club tea, Coconut Grove, February 10, 1946 honoring Miami artists, Chinese Still Life; Terry Galleries, December 1946, 15 ballet pastels; Florida Federation of Art, Clearwater, 1946; Society of The Four Arts, 9th Annual Members Exhibit, December 1946-January 1947, ballet paintings, Pas De Deux; Miami Beach Art Center, 2100 Collins Avenue, all watercolors and etchings exhibit, January-February 1947, pastels of the ballet; Society of The Four Arts, 10th Annual Members Exhibit, December 1947-January 1948; Palm Beach Art League 30th Annual, March 1948; Washington Art Galleries, Miami Beach, November 1948; Society of The Four Arts, 11th Annual Members Exhibit, December 1948-January 1949; Society of The Four Arts, 12th Annual Members Exhibit, December 1949-January 1950; Terry Art Institute Annual, May 1950; Ferargil Galleries, New York City, June 1950, first New York exhibit, sixteen casein and India ink paintings including, The Red Umbrella, pictured in the June issue of American Artist; Society of The Four Arts, 13th Annual Members Exhibit, December 1950-January 1951; Sarasota Art Association, 25th anniversary, February 19751, honorable mention for watercolor, Motion; Art Guild of Boca Raton, Boca Raton Club, March 1951, The Torn Dress; Robinson Galleries, Miami Beach, April 1951; Casablanca Hotel, Miami Beach, May 1951; Sarasota National Exhibition, 1951; Florida Southern College, 1951; Housekeeper’s Club, Coconut Grove, January 1952; Society of The Four Arts, 14th Annual Members Exhibit, December 1951-January 1952, Woman in Red; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, 1952, Watercolor Exhibit; Florida International Art Exhibition, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, 1952, honorable mention; Palm Beach Art League, 34th Annual, March 1952, watercolor, The Mummers; Blue Dome Fellowship Annual, Miami Beach Art Center, April 1952, Little Dogs Laughed; Feragil Galleries, New York City, October 1952; Terry Art Institute, Art Instructors Exhibit, 2323 S.W. 27th Avenue, January 1953, an oil, Afternoon and media unknown, Shampoo and Old Bill; Lowe Art Gallery, University of Miami, January 1953, The Captives; Blue Dome Fellowship, Miami Beach Art Center, March 1953, Front Yards; Palm Beach Art League, 35th Annual Members’ Exhibition, March 1953; Second Biennial Pan American Exhibition; Havana Palace of Fine Arts, 1954; Contemporary Arts Gallery, Pinellas Park, January 1954, 1st West Coast Exhibit; Florida Federation of Art Annuals; Craft Village, St. Petersburg, 1954; Art Club of St. Petersburg, November 1954; Florida Artist Group, 6th Annual Circuit, Palm Beach Art League, April 1955, Horses in the Surf; Florida State Fair, Tampa, February 1956, prize, Still Life; Johnny Appleseed Room, St. Petersburg, March 1956; Other Florida State Fair Showings; 1957, Bathers; 1959 Alone; 1960, The Bathers; 1961, Salt Creek; Art Club of St. Petersburg, Members’ Jury Show, January 1957, A Day In the Sun; Florida Artist Group, annual exhibit and symposium, Morse Gallery, Rollins College, Winter Park, May 1957, Alone; Contemporary Arts Gallery, Pinellas Park, October 1957, experimental paintings in mixed media; Creative Art Group Christmas art exhibit, Contemporary Arts Gallery, Pinellas Park, December 1957-January 1958, prize for Madonna and Child; Sun Art Theater, Green Room, St. Petersburg, February 1958, sponsored by the Creative Arts Group of Tampa Bay; ART: USA, New York City, 1957, prize, Pilgrimage, 1958, The Cat and the Fiddle; Contemporary Arts Gallery, Pinellas Park, October 1958; Florida Federation of Art, 32nd Annual Exhibition, November 13-28, 1958, Daytona Beach, oil, The Three; Pinellas County Fair, Largo, February 1959, honorable mention, Trio (race horses); Clearwater Art Group, 10th Annual, Municipal Auditorium, February 1959, honorable mention, Afternoon of a Uniform; Art League of Manatee County, Member’s Annual Juried Exhibit, March 1959, White Still Life; Contemporary Arts Gallery, 2nd Annual Japanese Garden Fete, June 1959; Contemporary Arts Gallery, Christmas Exhibit, November 1959, 1st prize, Three Wise Men; Clearwater Art Group, North Wing, Clearwater Auditorium, November 1959; Art Club of St. Petersburg, Members’ Jury Show, February 1960, 1st award, Janet King, Evelyn Longley Memorial Award, oil, Road to The Sea; Craft Village, St. Petersburg, February 1960; Contemporary Arts Gallery, Pinellas Park, 1st prize, portrait of artist, Alice O’Neal, The Jester; Governor’s All Florida Art Show, Ringling Museum of Art, January-February 1960, oil, The Three; Society of The Four Arts, 22nd Annual, Contemporary American Paintings, December 1960, collage, The Family; Art Club of St. Petersburg Annual Members Show, 201 Beach Drive, February 1961; New York Hospital Society, New York City; Commercial Bank, Winter Park; First National Bank, Clearwater, 1962; Florida Artist Group, 14th Annual Exhibition, 1963-1964 at Tampa Art Institute, oil collage, The Open Door II; First Federal Savings and Loan, St. Petersburg, February 24, 1971, portrait demonstration; Florida Gulf Coast Art Center, August- September 1973, featured painting, Horses in The Surf; Dixie Hollins High School, St. Petersburg; Ferargil Galleries, New York City, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, Watercolor Exhibit. Directory: Listed in the St. Petersburg City Directory, 1954 to 1957, 1959, 1960, as an artist with a studio at 2710 4th Street North. 



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