Henrietta Mabel May was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1877. She studied with William Brymner at the Art Association of Montreal from 1909-1912. She then travelled to Paris with Emily Coonan and was influenced by the work of the Impressionists. She also travelled to Northern France, Belgium, Holland, London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. |
In 1916 she became an associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. In 1918 she painted several canvases for the Canadian War Memorials of women working in ammunition factories. In 1920 she was one of the founding members of the Beaver Hall Group. In 1933 she was a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters. In 1938 she was appointed supervisor of children's classes at the National Gallery of Canada.
In 1950, she retired to Vancouver where was held a retrospective show and sale of one hundred of her paintings. She died in 1971 at the age of ninety-four.