Martha Hayden’s work has been featured in more than 450 national and regional  exhibitions, including shows at the Art Institute of Chicago, Dartmouth College, Milwaukee Art Museum,  and Butler Institute of American Art. Her work is in collections at the British Museum, Baylor University,  University of Wisconsin, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (Brazil), Weserburg Museum (Bremen, Germany), Salzburg Museum (Austria), Yale University Library, Harvard University Library and  Oklahoma City Museum of Art, among others.
For more than 20 years, Hayden divided her time between her home in Wisconsin and New York City, where she maintained a studio at Kenkeleba House. In New York, she exhibited at the National Arts Club, National Academy Museum, Museum of the City of New York,  New York Transit Museum, and Bowery Gallery, among others.
On fellowships from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation, the Cill Rialaig Project, and Europos Parkas, Hayden has painted in New Mexico, Ireland, and Lithuania. Invited by the Maryland Institute College of Art, Hayden has twice painted in Brittany, France, as an Alfred and Trafford Klots resident artist. In 2013, Hayden received an award at ArtPrize, an international art competition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where her work was chosen for exhibition during 2014 at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Martha Hayden is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. On an Art Institute fellowship, she studied in Salzburg, Austria, with the Expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka, winning the highest award for her work.