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Orange for William

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Mary Henry was born in Sonoma, California, in 1913 and died in Freeland, Washington, in 2009. She received her BFA degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts and her MFA degree from the Illinois Institute of Design, where she studied with the Hungarian-born painter László Moholy-Nagy. Although she remained firmly rooted in the fundamental principles of Constructivism and geometric abstract art, Henry preferred to work independently rather than associate her work with any particular art movement or style. Henry was married to her childhood friend Wilbur Henry for twenty-four years and they had two children. Their daughter, Suzanne Rahn, is a retired professor of English at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. Their son, William, owned and operated a motel in California before he was tragically killed in an automobile accident in the 1970s. According to Henry, orange was William's favorite color and Orange for William was painted after his death in his honor and memory.