Born in Columbia, South Carolina, Taylor graduated from the South Carolina College for Women, Columbia in 1897. In 1903-04, she studied with William Merritt Chase in Europe. She later studied with B. J. O. Nordfelt in Provincetown, Massachusetts, during the summers of 1915 and 1916. She traveled extensively over the next decade, living in New York, British Guiana, and Mexico before moving permanently to Charleston 1929. Along with Alfred Hutty, Alice Smith, and Elizabeth O’Neill Verner, Taylor was a driving force behind the cultural and artistic reawakening in Charleston.