Ryan (1889-1954) was a self-starter. In 1923 she left a marriage in New Jersey for the life of a poet and journalist, traveling alone to Europe and then settling in Greenwich Village, where she opened a restaurant to support her children (and did the cooking herself). She began painting in 1938, when she was almost 50. In 1941 she enrolled in Stanley William Hayter's print-making workshop and learned everything: etching, intaglio, monotype, woodcut and printing and carving on plaster ... After she saw a Kurt Schwitters show in 1948, collage became her passion, and those she produced in her last six years remain a rich and understudied highlight of postwar New York modernism.
Collage #538, 1953. Paper and fabric on paperboard, 12 1/2 x 9 13/16 inches. From the Hirshhorn's collections.
Untitled, 1951, 6 3/4 x 5 1/2 inches. (found here.)
Collage #534, 1953. Paper, fabric, photomechanical reproduction, ink stamp, sand and charcoal on paperboard. 12 9/16 x 9 5/8 inches. From the Hirshhorn's collections.
Untitled collage, unknown date from here.
(The Met has a collection of her collages on view right now, most no bigger than a greeting card.)