Better known as an art dealer than an artist, she had a self-named gallery that significantly promoted the careers of numerous abstract artists of the 1940s. In fact, by some critics, she was called the "midwife" of the New York School*.
She grew up in an upper class existence in New York City and turned down a position on the U.S. Olympic tennis team to pursue her art career. She was married briefly and then divorced but kept her husband's name. From 1923 to 1933, she studied sculpture in Paris and was very much a part of avant-garde circles there that included Gertrude Stein, Alexander Calder, and Man Ray.
The stock market crash forced her to return to the United States where she spent three years teaching in Santa Barbara, California, and then returned to New York City.
She learned the art gallery business by working with Mrs. Cornelius Sullivan and in 1946 opened her own gallery where she gave artists total freedom with their exhibitions. Because she had many aristocratic connections, she created bridges between art collectors and emerging artists such as Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock, Irene Rice Pereira and Mark Rothko.
She never showed her own work at the Parson's Gallery 8 but continued to exhibit, moving from traditional watercolors in the 1930s, through Abstract Expressionism 8, and then to sculpture in the 1970s. In the last decade of her eight-one years, she moved to Long Island where her studio on a cliff overlooked the ocean.