Anne Ryan (1889–1954) belonged to the early generation of New York School Abstract Expressionist artists. Her first contact with the New York Avant-garde came in 1941 when she joined the Atelier 17, a famous printmaking workshop that the British artist Stanley William Hayter had established in Paris in the 1930s and then brought to New York when France fell to the Nazis. The great turning point in Anne Ryan's development occurred after the war, in 1948. She was 57 years old when she saw the collages of Kurt Schwitters at the Rose Fried Gallery, in New York City, in 1948. She right away dedicated herself to this newly discovered medium. Since Anne Ryan was a poet, according to Deborah Solomon, in Kurt Schwitters’s collages “she recognized the visual equivalent of her sonnets – discrete images packed together in an extremely compressed space.” When six years later Anne Ryan died, her work in this medium numbered over 400 pieces.