Martha Walter, a well-known Philadelphia impressionist, was most acclaimed for her depictions of Gloucester, Massachusetts; Coney Island; Atlantic City; and the coast of France. She studied with William Merritt Chase at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and received the Cresson Scholarship, which allowed her to travel for two years, visiting France, Spain, Italy, and Holland. While in Paris she attended the Academie Grande Chaumiere and the Academie Julian. However, she found the academy structure too confining and instead set-up her own studio in the Rue de Bagneaus.
With the advent of World War I she returned to the United States and established a studio in Gloucester, where she painted beach scenes. She also became intrigued with Ellis Island and painted people as they arrived in ethnic costume from their countries of origin. Walter exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the National Association for Women Painters. Her work is represented in the collections of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Norfolk Society of Artists, the Milwaukee Art Institute, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Luxembourg Museum, Paris.