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Selina Elizabeth Bres (aka Mrs. William Benjamin Gregory)

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Selina Elizabeth Bres
Newcomb College Newcomb Ceramicist
(New Orleans, Louisiana, 1870 - 1953, Paris, France)

Selina E. Bres was born in New Orleans on January 1, 1870, to Jean Baptiste Bres and Elizabeth Adams, a member of the New England Adams family that gave the country two presidents. Selina Bres is among the early participants in Newcomb’s fledgling art program. In 1886–87, she enrolled in the Saturday drawing classes offered by Tulane University and registered at Newcomb College shortly after. She was a member of the first ceramic decorating class in 1895 and purportedly sold the first piece of Newcomb pottery. Bres received a Diploma in Art in 1896; from 1896 to 1902 she is identified in University publications as a Graduate Art student. She married William B. Gregory, Tulane University professor of Engineering, on June 21, 1898, and later had three children, one being the famed New Orleans sculptor, Angela Gregory. Bres returned to Newcomb as Art Craftsman in the 1908–1909 and 1909–1910 sessions; she also became a student of voice and piano. The New Orleans City Directories of 1924–1935 list her as a professional artist. She was an active member of the arts community in New Orleans throughout her life, exhibiting with the Artist’s Guild and Arts and Crafts Club, the latter being one she helped to organize. Selina Bres Gregory died on November 6, 1953 at an American hospital in Paris, France.

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