Mary Fedden was born in Bristol on 14th August 1915. Fedden left school to study at the Slade School of Art at the age of sixteen. After leaving the college she made a living teaching, painting portraits and producing stage designs for Sadlers Wells and the Arts Theatre.
At the outbreak of the Second World War Fedden served in the Land Army and the Woman’s Voluntary Service and was commissioned to produce murals for the war effort. In 1944 she was sent abroad as a driver for the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes.
After the war, Fedden returned to easel painting and developed her individual style of still life painting. Mary Fedden married the artist Julian Trevelyan who she had met before the war. They took a studio on the Thames River at Chiswick, where Fedden, lived and worked there until she passed away on 12th June 2012. Together, Trevelyan and Fedden travelled widely and even collaborated on a mural commission for Charing Cross Hospital. Fedden received several other commissions for murals, most importantly from the Festival of Britain (1951), the P & O Liner, Canberra (1961) as well as from schools and hospitals.
In 1958 was appointed the first female tutor at the Royal College of Art and taught for 6 years, where her pupils included David Hockney and Allen Jones. In 1992 Fedden became an academician of the Royal Academy and has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bath as well as an O.B.E. for her work.