Maud Hunt Squire
1873 - 1955
Maud Squire was born January 30, 1873 in Cincinnati. Her parents encouraged
her artistic training, though both had died by the time she was a young woman.
At the age of 21, she enrolled in the Cincinnati Art Academy and studied under
Lewis Henry Meakin and Frank Duveneck. At the academy she met fellow student
Ethel Mars, with whom she would live and travel for the rest of her life.
Squire began her career while still a student, traveling to New York to meet
with publishers and exhibiting her work. By 1900 she and Mars were living in
New York City, traveling to Europe, and collaborating on illustrating children's
books. By 1906 they had settled in Paris together. Within a few months of their
residence in the city, Squire and Mars had adopted the radical (for the times)
use of flamboyant hair coloring and garish makeup. Certainly, the young women
reveled in the social freedoms that Paris offered.
However outrageous, it was Squire’s artistic accomplishments garnered
repeated invitations to Gertrude Stein's salon at 27 rue de Fleurus, where she
(and Mars) met such luminaries as Picasso and Matisse. The connections Squire
made at the home of Stein and her partner Alice B. Toklas contributed significantly
to the development of her career.
It is noteworthy that Squire and Mars were the subject of Stein's whimsical
word portrait "Miss Furr and Miss Skeene" (Squire's nickname was Skeene),
written between 1909 and 1911. With characteristic playfulness, Stein in this
piece spoofs young ladies who come to Paris to "cultivate something."
Stein's reiteration of the word "gay" at a time when its coded meaning
was not in mainstream use is interpreted today as an in-group double entendre.
In the 1920s Squire returned to Europe, eventually settling in Vence on the
French Riviera. There she was active in an artists' community that included
Marsden Hartley and Reginald Marsh. She continued to collaborate with Mars on
children's book illustration as well as making her paintings. Squire concentrated
on large-scale watercolors of outdoor public scenes, and continued working until
In her lifetime, she exhibited her work at the Art Institute of Chicago, the
Panama Pacific Exhibition of 1915, Pennsylvania Academy, Provincetown Art Association,
and the Society of Independent Artists – of which she was a member. She
died in 1955 in Venice, France at the age of 82.