Born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island., Canada in 1907, Frederick (William) Ryan was the son of John Wilfred Ryan of Kentville, Nova Scotia, and Olivia Violet Okey of London, England.
Shortly after graduating from Saint John High School, New Brunswick in 1926, Ryan moved with his family to Boston where he studied at the Massachusetts School of Art under Ernest L. Major, and Richard Andrew, who had been a pupil in France of Jean-Paul Laurens and Jean-Leon Gerome.
At the age of 21, Ryan traveled to Paris to continue his formal art training. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Lucien Simon, and privately under Louis-Francois Biloul. Also, in Paris, Ryan knew personally the celebrated
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