Nancy Thompson Brown was born in Annapolis, Maryland in 1926. She lived most of her childhood in Annapolis and later in Washington, D.C. In 1944 she was awarded a scholarship to Abbott School of Art in Washington, D.C. Later she attended the University of Maryland, majoring in Agriculture/Horticulture and Environmental Studies.
In the following years she attended the Maryland Institute of Art and the Corcoran Museum School of Art, studying with “Washington Color School Painters” - Leon Berkowitz and Gene Davis. She also studied privately with painter Sam Gilliam and sculptress Anne Truitt.
In 1971 Brown visited Monhegan Island, Maine shortly after the passing of her long time friend and early mentor, the artist and writer Rockwell Kent. It was he who encouraged her to visit and explore the environs of Monhegan where he had lived and painted. In 1981 after many summer visits to the island Brown purchased the cottage-studio “Candlelight” which was originally built and owned by Maude Briggs Knowlton, one of Monhegan’s early women artists. It was here that Brown summered for twenty-three years conducting workshops in collage, mixed media and painting. She also exhibited her work from her studio gallery and was one of the founders of “Women Artists of Monhegan Island”.
Brown was awarded the first of three fellowships in 1989 from “The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation” in Taos, New Mexico. It was during her three month residences that she had many opportunities to explore the Southwest and establish new professional relationships with painter Agnes Martin and sculptor Alan Hauser. She became fascinated with the incredible mountain ranges, brilliant light, changeable weather patterns, the vast uncluttered spaces and new life forms, (plants and animals). In 1996 Brown and her husband made the decision to move from their farmstead on the Eastern Shore of Maryland to Taos County in northern New Mexico where she now lives and works from her studio/gallery.
Brown’s abstract paintings, monotypes and collages are of a spiritual and mystical dimension reflecting the essence of inner and outer places. Her work has received many awards as well as recognition by the outstanding jurors: Adelaide Breeskin, Curator of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Betty Parsons of the Betty Parsons Gallery, New York City; Theodore Wolff, writer and art critic; Lloyd Goodrich, writer and art critic; George Segal, painter and sculptor; Roberta Smith, writer and art critic.