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Bennett, Gwendolyn (08 July 1902–30 May 1981), writer and artist, was born in Giddings, Texas, the daughter of Joshua Robin Bennett and Mayme F. Abernathy, teachers on a Native American reservation. In 1906 the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Bennett’s father studied law and her mother worked as a manicurist and hairdresser. Her parents divorced and her mother won custody, but her father kidnapped the seven-year-old Gwendolyn. The two, with her stepmother, lived in hiding in various towns along the East Coast and in Pennsylvania before finally settling in New York....

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Hoyte, Lenon (04 July 1905–01 August 1999), doll collector and art teacher, was born Lenon Holder in New York City, the oldest child of Moses Holder, a carpenter, and Rose Holder, who sewed hats for infants for a Manhattan department store. The family owned a house on 128th Street in Harlem, and Hoyte attended public schools there. It was a comfortable childhood, but ironically the doll collector to be and her sister were forbidden to play with dolls when the younger girl, after chewing on the hands of their dolls, contracted lead poisoning. Hoyte studied both art and education at the City College of New York, earning a B.S. degree in 1937, and at Teacher's College of Columbia University. She had private art teachers as well, and she painted in media such as oil, casein, and watercolor. In 1930 Hoyte was hired to teach in New York City elementary and junior high schools, which she did for 40 years. She began teaching art and added puppetry and doll making....

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Sullivan, Mary Quinn (24 November 1877–05 December 1939), art teacher, collector, and dealer, was born Mary Josephine Quinn in Indianapolis, Indiana, the daughter of Thomas F. Quinn, a firefighter, and Anne E. Gleason. Her father’s parents were settlers from Ireland. The eldest child in her large family, she spent her early years on a farm in West Indianapolis until the family moved to Indianapolis. Although she was raised a Roman Catholic, her parents sent her to Shortridge High, a public high school, where she studied art. In 1899 she enrolled, with a scholarship, at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, registering for courses in composition, psychology, perspective, still life, and mechanical drawing. In 1901 she both completed her course work in art education and accepted a job in Queens as an instructor in drawing. Sent by the board of education to observe art schools in Europe, she visited Germany, Belgium, and England. In 1902 she traveled to France and Italy and first became aware of impressionist and postimpressionist painting....