Although a major American realist of the latter half of the twentieth century, Colleen Browning was born in Cregg, County Cork, Ireland. From earliest years, she hoped to be a painter. In due course, Browning attended London's Slade School of Art from 1946 to 1948. Her marriage to the English novelist Geoffrey Wagner in 1949 first brought her to the United States. The following year, the couple settled in New York where Browning taught at City university.
Early in her career, Browning's talents were
recognized and honored. In the 1950s, she began showing at the
Edwin Hewitt Gallery in New York and since then has won numerous
annual exhibition awards, from the Rochester Memorial Art Museum
to the Carnegie International. Her work was included in the
National Academy of Design's yearly exhibitions, and she has
exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of
American Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and
the Kennedy Galleries in New York. She was elected a National
Academician in 1966, and has served as an officer at the Academy.