Born in Kent, Mary Hoad studied at the Chelsea School of Art. Interested in education, she served on the editorial board of Athene, the journal for the Society for Education in Art, which organized the Pictures for Schools exhibitions.
After working as the County Art Organiser for the Hertfordshire Education Authority, she became the principal of St. Alban’s School of Art (now the Hertfordshire College of Art and Design) in 1957. While principal, she was influential in the promotion of courses on art therapy, introducing pioneer art therapist Michael Edwards to Mary Webb’s work with patients at Kingsbury Hospital.
The University Art Collection holds one painting by Mary Hoad, entitled ‘Areas of Colour’.