Martha Jane Reed (1922-2010) was born in Cincinnati, but grew up in Stillwater, a small university town equidistant to Tulsa and Oklahoma City, where her famous painter-printmaker father Doel Reed, was attempting to set up an art department. After high school Martha Reed enrolled at Oklahoma A & M, where she soon switched from and English to an Art Major. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1944, she accepted a position as assistant to the director of the Philbrook Art Center (named today the Philbrook Museum of Art) in Tulsa. At some time around 1950, she accepted a similar position at the Dallas Museum of Art, but soon decided to resume her pursuit as a fine artist with two years of graduate studies in art at her alma mater. In 1953 Martha Reed joined her parents in Taos (NM), where she had often visited her parents. She never left. Working in a clothing shop named the Pink Horse, she was asked on her very first day to design dresses similar to the ones she was wearing, and which she and her mother had designed for years. After a little while designing blouses, Navajo inspired shirts, skirts and dresses for this shop, she opened a Southwestern style clothing shop on Taos Plaza with John McCarthy. Their shop was there for 38 years, and Martha Reed became synonymous with timeless Toas elegance. As a legacy meant to honor her father’s oeuvre, she donated Doel Reed’s property in Talpa. It is today known as the Doel Reed Center for the Arts.
Because of her career in fashion, it seems Martha Reed left behind relatively little fine art. She painted a little bit, and is also known to have left behind fabric pattern designs. The print we present is the only one known by her, and was very likely made during her graduate studies, circa 1951 or 1952.