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Marion E. Patten, a native of Malden, Massachusetts came to painting at the age of 39 while summering in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1928. Her immediate interest in oil was encouraged there under the instruction of George Elmer Browne (1871-1946) of New York. After her season in Provincetown she enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston where she studied painting and figure drawing under Philip Hale (1865-1931). In her first seasons of painting she did a remarkable series of small Impressionist landscapes in and around Provincetown that have been likened to certain works of Pissaro.
Later Patten became a well-recognized portrait painter, having studied under Leslie Thompson of Boston and Wayman Adams of New York. Her career was cut short by her untimely death at age 52.