Mary Gertrude Abbey, née Meade, met Edwin Abbey first in 1884, but not again until 1888 when they were at Broadway, an artists' colony. They were married at 1 West 56th Street, New York in 1890.
Abbey attended Green's School, New York and Vassar College. Later she studied Romance languages and literature in Germany and France, attending lectures at the University of Leipzig and the Sorbonne. She worked for a year with Professor Poore at his laboratory in the School of Mines in New York. She taught for two years at the Roxbury Latin School for Boys, Boston, MA.
She and her husband became close friends of JW and his wife in Paris in the early 1890s.
She left an estate of $1,276,097 and a bequest to the Royal Academy, which is the source of the Abbey Scholarship. She also left money to the National Academy of Design, New York.
Times, London, 30 December 1933, p. 10; Who was who: a companion to Who's who, vol. 1, 1897/1915, London, 1920-21.