Gladys Ames Brannigan was born June 14, 1882 in Hingham, MA. When she was seven years old, her family moved to New Hampshire. By 1900 Brannigan was living in Washington D.C., where she attended Georgetown University, earning her B.A. in 1903 and M.A. in 1904, and later studied at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. In 1910 she exhibited at the WCC, and in 1911 with the Society of Washington Artists, of which she was a member. She also worked as an artist on the staff of the Washington Evening Star. By 1921 Gladys had married Robert A. Brannigan, a patent lawyer, and was residing in New York City, where she studied at the Art Students’ League and the National Academy of Design with H.B. Snell.