Mary Bean was born in Norristown Pennsylvania in 1904. She graduated from the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr in 1921 and attended the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art in Philadelphia and The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where she met artist and future husband, Richard Rogers. She also formed connections with several blossoming art students in the Philadelphia region including noted Bucks County artist, Anne Goodell Lathrop and studied under the direction of Modernist painter, Arthur Carles, Jr. During the early years of her marriage, Bean and Rogers spent several summers at the Breckenridge Summer School of Art in Gloucester, Massachusetts under the instruction of American painter Hugh Henry Breckenridge.
In her personal belongings was found pamphlets for some of her exhibitions. Notably, she showed at the Art League of Washington D.C. in 1933 with such artists as John Fulton Folinsbee (1892-1972), Edward Shepard Hewitt (1877-1962), Frederick William Harer (1879 – 1947), and Bernard Badura (1896 – 1986) among others. In a personal correspondence between herself and Nancy Lathrop, it is mentioned that the renowned art collector Duncan Phillips compared her style to a Matisse. Another noted exhibition was the Annual Water Color and Miniature Exhibition in 1928 where she exhibited a watercolor titled Nantucket; No. 2.
She was a member of The Plastic Club, Philadelphia, an art club strictly for women artists. Bean exhibited her watercolor Behind the Church with The Plastic Club in their Thirtieth Annual Colour Exhibition along with Fern Coppedge (1883 – 1951), Wuanita Smith (1866 – 1959), Cora Smalley Brooks (1885 – 1930), Mildred Bunting Miller (1892 – 1964), and many other women artists.
Other known places of exhibition include the Baltimore Water Color Club; Baltimore Museum of Art, First Annual Exhibition of The Boston Society of Independent Artists; Boston, Massachusetts, Cheltenham Township Art Centre along with Walter Emerson Baum (1884 – 1956), and a personal exhibition at the Beach Theater; Cape May, New Jersey. Mary Bean and her husband were immersed in the Philadelphia art scene and in the development of American Modernism. Their involvement in the art world helped trail blaze the movement from Impressionism to Modernism.