Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Elizabeth W. Withington: Shadowcatcher

Elizabeth W. Withington

Photography is easily one of the most significant technological inventions in modern times and yet, there still exists a general impression that it is, and has always been, primarily a male-oriented profession. Women have been involved with the medium since its invention in 1839 and by the mid-1840s, several women were already well-established as professional commercial photographers in Boston, New York, and St. Louis. In 1850, according to Humphrey's Daguerreian Journal, a total of seventy-one daguerreotype studios were listed in New York, "including 127 operators, also 11 ladies and 46 boys." Their fees, estimated by the editor of the journal, stated that men were paid $10 per week, women $5, and boys $1.

By 1920, the year women received the vote, the United States census recorded the surprising fact that approximately 20 percent of America's photographic work force was female. It's quite remarkable that women who were looking for a profession were afforded the opportunity to become financially independent by working as photographers and yet, so many remain unknown. Meet one nineteenth-century photographer: Elizabeth W. Withington, from the East and worked in the West.

Elizabeth W. Kirby was born in New York City on March 17, 1825. Nothing is known of her life before the age of 20, when she married farmer and shingle maker George V. Withington of Monroe, Michigan. Withington joined the Gold Rush and moved to California in 1849. In 1852, Eliza traveled from St. Joseph, Missouri with her daughter to join him at a ranch that he was operating in Amador County, California.  Looking for ways to supplement the meager family income, Mrs. Withington noticed that the farming and mining areas were also fertile photography ground.

Elizabeth W. Withington
Business Card

In 1856, Elizabeth journeyed back to the East Coast for the express purpose of learning photography. She traveled throughout the Atlantic states after completing her studies and visited the galleries of the leading photographers of the day, including Matthew Brady's in New York City. Early the following year, she opened her Excelsior Ambrotype Gallery in Ione City, California. Inspiration was all around her: abundant stagecoach lines, railway stations, mills, breweries, restaurants, miners and farmers. 

Elizabeth W. Withington
Miner's Camp
ca n.d.

Back in those days, a female photographer was a novelty and curious locals were soon lining up to have their pictures “taken by a Lady!” Specializing in the wet collodion plate process, Withington captured stunning stereoscopic views of Silver Lake, California and its surrounding areas. She also indulged her artistic inclinations by teaching 'Oriental Pearl Painting' to the ladies, a popular parlor activity during the nineteenth century.

Elizabeth W. Withington
ca n.d.

By 1871, Elizabeth and her husband were living separately and with her two daughters now grown, she could focus solely upon stereographic photography. Her mastery of wet collodion platemaking is evident in her mining town stereographs. In 1875, she became a member of the Photographic Art Society of the Pacific, and the following year, she wrote a fascinating account of her process in the article, "How a Woman Makes Landscape Photographs" which was featured in the Philadelphia Photographer. She described the arduous and highly technical tasks of preparing at least 50 albumenized 5 x 8 inch plates, making sure to place blotting paper between each to preserve them during transport. Her supplies included chemicals, a negative box, iron and wooden fixing and developing trays, and a Newell bathtub, all of which had to be moved gingerly over rigorous terrain by stagecoach. Elizabeth preferred Morrison lenses for landscapes and a Philadelphia box camera she lovingly referred to as “the pet.” Among her ingenious inventions was a "dark, thick dress skirt" often used as a makeshift developing tent and a black linen, cane-headed parasol (more for practicality than fashion) to protect her views from sun and wind and to assist in the unladylike activities of "climbing mountains and sliding into ravines."

Elizabeth W. Withington
ca n.d.

Her article is considered one of the finest descriptions of landscape photography in the pioneer West. Shortly after it was published, Elizabeth succumbed to cancer, apparently suffering from the disease for several years.  Withington died on March 4, 1877 in her adopted hometown of Ione City, just shy of her 52nd birthday. She left behind an impressive body of work that immortalizes the pioneering spirit of the Old West. Her photographs can be found in the collections of the Amador County Museum in Jackson, California; the Women in Photography International Archive in Arcata, California; the Huntington Library in San Marino, California; the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York; and the Princeton University Art Museum at McCormick Hall in Princeton, New Jersey.

Sources ___________________________________________________________

Clio: Elizabeth W. Withington, Peter Palmquist,, retrieved 12/22/2020

Elizabeth W. Withington at Historic Camera,, retrieved 12/22/2020

Women Artists of the American West, Susan R. Ressler, ed., McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina and London, 2003, pp 203-204

Friday, December 18, 2020

Mary Ann Lehman: Etcher of Western Scenes


Mary Ann Lehman
Quiet Crow Camp
2x10 inches

Mary Ann Lehman was an American Western artist born near Spokane, Washington in 1920. She was best known for her etchings of horses and Western scenes enhanced with watercolor and oil. Lehman's creative work was predominantly influenced by modernism of the 1950s. Lehman was a member of the Los Angeles Art Association, the Palos Verdes Art Association, the Laguna Beach Art Association, and the Laguna Beach Festival of Art. She painted in oil in a heavy impasto style that has depth and texture. 

Mary Ann Lehman
Native American on Horse

Lehman was raised in the San Fernando Valley from the age of six. In 1938, she studied at The Otis Art Institute in downtown Los Angeles. During World War II, Lehman served as a sergeant in the Women's Army Corps located in Los Alamos, New Mexico. After the war, she married Joseph Lehman in 1946 and the couple settled in Lawndale, in the South Bay region of Los Angeles.

Mary Ann Lehman
California Oil Man on Horseback
Mid 20th century
18 x 24 inches

Resuming her art training, Lehman studied at UCLA (1946), Chouinard School of Art, LA (1946-1951), and El Camino College, Torrance, CA (1956-1958). In the Post-War period the lens of modern art both nationally and internationally was connected with developments in New York City. The Second World War brought many leading artists in exile from Europe to New York, leading to a rich pool of talent and ideas. Notable European artists such as Piet Mondrian, Josef Albers and Hans Hoffmann provided inspiration for eager American artists and set the bar of much of the United States’ significant cultural growth in the subsequent decades. 

Mary Ann Lehman
The Wild Ones
2x14 inches

The 1950s can be said to have been dominated by Abstract Expressionism, a form of painting that prioritized expressive brushstrokes and explored ideas about organic nature, spirituality and the sublime. Much of the focus was on the formal properties of painting, and ideas of action painting were conflated with the political freedom of the United States society as opposed to the strictures of the Soviet bloc. Key artists of the Abstract Expressionist Generation included Jackson Pollock (who innovated his famed drip, splatter and pour painting techniques), Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Frank Kline, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still and Adolph Gottlieb. It was a male-dominated environment, though necessary revisionism of this period has emphasized the contributions of female artists such as Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and Louise Bourgeois.

Mary Ann Lehman
Big Daddy ca 1977, Bingo, Don Quixote ca 1982
Color etchings
3 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches

Lehman also did freelance work including scratchboard illustrations for "Blood Horse Magazine".

In 1968, Lehman took up etching at the urginging of her instructor, Joe Mugniani. For the next fifteen years, she produced numerous etchings, often colored with oil or watercolor. Her lifetime interest in horses and the West is reflected in the works seen here. Mary Ann Lehman received first-place awards for both etchings and watercolors, and exhibition venues included Salt Lake City; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Memphis, Tennessee; and Albany, New York.

Her work has been exhibited at the annuls of the Death Valley Forty-niners, the Saddleback Inn, Santa Ana, CA, Fort Robinson, NE and Temecula, CA. 


An Enclyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West, Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1998, p. 188-89.

AskArt, Mary Anna Lehman,, retrieved December 18, 2020.

MutualArt, Mary Anna Lehman,, retrieved December 18, 2020.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Dr. Viki found her Muse

Since I am a woman artist out west, I felt it's time for an update. This blog has been chugging along remarkably (sometimes with little help from me) since 2012! In the ensuing years, I wrote a 600 page dissertation and earned my Ph.D. in Art History, retired from teaching full-time, moved to Portland for a year with my husband and our hound, Charlie, moved back to Southern California and we sold our home, landing in Camarillo, just up the coast. I jumped into the activities offered by our new community with plans to continue to do adult ed and teach art and art history, and became site coordinator for the OLLI program through California State University, Channel Islands. Then, Covid-19 came along and shut everything down.

Now What? All the time that loomed before me. I tried to learn Italian by watching Alberto Arrighini, a terrific young man who, via YouTube video sessions, came up with a smart concept called the Natural Method and, it really works. However, I had no one to speak with Italian has remained light, as in non-existent. I regularly say, "Che Palle" (my best line: "What a drag"). Then, I tried a bit of sewing (which I hate) repair on a couple of inherited quilts and frankly, yeah, no. I'll gladly pay someone else to do that. 

During my last several teaching years, I picked up painting in earnest and played around with portraits, creating a series of Biblical heroines at a seminal moment in their stories. They turned out pretty well but now I have 10 or so 18x24 inch canvases sitting in my home studio that are unframed and still wrapped from the move. It occurred to me that something needed to happen...introspection and self-exploration. I thought about what I really love to look at and be around. Beauty was the answer. Where can I find the most inspirational beauty? For me, it's the ocean and the sky. Why not spend my time photographing and painting the two things in nature that move me most? 

Research was needed. I went online and came across a young woman who paints water and MAN, the paintings looked like photographs. Her name is Irina Cumberland and she is incredible. She has a course online with two demos and everything you might want to know about painting water and reflections. I took it and found it to be just challenging enough but not overwhelmingly impossible with a LOT of practice, practice, practice. There's still a long way to go but I have four finished pieces and three in process. Again, what to do with artwork that just piles up?

I needed inspiration! Christa Cloutier, is an artist and teacher who runs workshops (now mostly online) and who created a series called The Working Artist. I watched Project Planning for Artist Brains and, after following the steps and answering the questions she posed, for the first time ever, the proverbial light bulb came on. Actually, it was more like a Klieg know, like the ones used to sweep across the skies at a Hollywood premiere. 

I've decided to market my work of the ocean, waves, beach scenes and reflections and donate a portion of any proceeds to the Surfrider Foundation, Ventura County Chapter, which is dedicated to the 43 miles of beach and ocean health, clean-up, and education here in Ventura County, where I live. I've been blessed to live within 20 miles of the coast nearly the entire time I've been in California and love everything about being close to the ocean. I got my logo/biz cards finished and now, will build a website for artwork. I needed direction and structure and wow, I finally seem have it!


Christa Cloutier:

Alberto Arrighini: Italian for Americans:

Surfrider Foundation:

Paintings by Me

Friday, August 21, 2020

Gene Kloss: Painter and Printmaker of the American West

Alice Geneva (Gene) Glasier Kloss was born in Oakland, California and attended the local public schools. Determined to have a career in art, Kloss studied at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1923, where she discovered the art of etching. Berkeley is where she perfected her skills as a painter under Ray Boynton and was first introduced to printmaking by the renowned etcher, Perham Wilhelm NahlAfter graduating in with honors 1924, she spent two years studying at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco and the College of Fine Arts in Oakland.  

Her first major solo exhibition, which included almost 100 etchings, oils, watercolors, block prints and monotypes, at the Berkeley League of Fine Arts in March 1926 was so popular that it was extended for a month. This was the start of a career which included over 70 exhibitions in the Bay Area, where her watercolors were as popular with critics as her etchings.

Gene Glasier married Phillips Kloss, a writer and poet, in 1925 and on her honeymoon, she discovered the beauty of Taos, New Mexico after which she found her calling to document the landscape and the people. The couple made frequent trips to New Mexico where they eventually built an adobe home and divided their time between Berkeley and Taos. From the 1950s, with the exception of a five year stint in Cory, Colorado, until her death, Kloss was a year-round resident of New Mexico.

The West dominated Kloss's art. In her early work, she created views of the San Francisco Bay Area; Sierra Nevada; Mendocino Coast; Mojave Desert; Lake Tahoe; and the Monterey Peninsula. She also produced studies of the Arizona Desert; Yellowstone Lake; Canadian Rockies; and the Colorado Rockies, however, her most recurring themes focused on the Northern New Mexico landscape and the Native Americans there. 

Gene Kloss
The Old Bridge 
(Her first print)
ca 1924
4 & 1/2 x 3 & 1/2 inches

During the Depression from the years 1933 to 1944 Kloss was the sole etcher employed by the Public Works of Art Project. Her series of nine New Mexico scenes from that period were reproduced and distributed to public schools across the state. She also created watercolors and oil paintings for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In 1935, she was one of three Taos artists who represented New Mexico at a Paris exhibition called "Three Centuries of Art in the United States."

Gene Kloss became a National Academician in 1972, exhibiting her work from 1924 until nearly the time of her passing, winning countless awards. In addition to umpteen group events, she had a large number of one-person shows, including those at the Berkeley Art League (1926), Oakland Gallery (1932), Crocker Gallery, Sacramento (1939), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. (1945), Taos Art Association (1958), Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe (1960), Birger Sandzen Memorial Museum, Lindsborg, KS (1966), Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton, CA, (1980), Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1988) and Harwood Gallery, University of New Mexico, Taos (1994). 

Gene Kloss
Approaching Storm
ca. n.d.
18 x 24 inches

Gene Kloss
Morning After Snowfall
ca 1947
10" x 14 inches

Gene Kloss
Courtyard in Chimayo
ca 1973
7-1/4 x 8-3/4

Here's a link to an interview with Kloss:


An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West, Phil Kovinik and Marion Yoshiki Kovinik, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1998, p. 176

The Owings Gallery,, retrieved August 21, 2020

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Augusta Savage: Sculptor, Instructor, Activist, Inspiration

In light of the incredibly challenging times in which we are living, the Arts sustain us. Artists interpret, create, and provide hope for a somber world that seeks light. Augusta Savage was a woman who overcame tremendous difficulties over the course of her entire life. She prevailed, never giving into what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles that stood squarely in her way, and became a notable artist whose work was internationally celebrated during her lifetime. 

I discovered Savage's name and body of work during my search for artists to explore for my PhD. dissertation. The deeper I delved into Augusta Savage's remarkable life and artwork, the more frustrated I became that almost NO ONE knew of her. How could that be? Periodically, she seems to be "rediscovered" and it appears that Savage 's work is enjoying another small renaissance. Her work was the focus of a recent exhibition at the New York Historical Society that ran from May 3 - July 28, 2019.  

Artist Augusta Savage overcame poverty, racism, and sexual discrimination to become one of America’s most influential 20th-century artists. Her sculptures celebrate African American culture, and her work as an arts educator, activist, and Harlem Renaissance leader catalyzed social change.

While Savage is a "Right Coast" artist, she's unquestionably perfect to profile now. Let's take a look at her life and work!

"I have created nothing really beautiful, really lasting, but if I can inspire one of these youngsters to develop the talent I know they possess, then my monument will be in their work."—T. R. Poston, "Augusta Savage," Metropolitan Magazine, Jan. 1935, n.p. 

Augusta Savage at work
Born Augusta Christine Fells in Green Cove Springs, Florida, on February 29, 1892, she was the seventh of fourteen children of Cornelia and Edward Fells. Searching for something to do, she would head over to the nearby Clay County Brick works. In their attempt to keep her safe he workers would chase her away from the drying tunnels and scorching ovens, and to keep her away they would give her a bucket of clay. Augusta would spend hours shaping animals, especially ducks, and set them in the sun to dry. Her father, Edward Fells, a poor fundamentalist Methodist minister, strongly opposed his daughter's early interest in art. He viewed her small clay figures as graven images and punished her for creating them. Savage later recalled her father beating her several times a week; "He nearly whipped all the art out of me," she claimed.

This seems to be the recurring cycle of Augusta’ Savage's life – every advance in her artistic achievement seemed to be followed by bitter disappointment. Her personal life was not particularly stable. In 1907 she married John T. Moore, and the following year her only child, Irene, was born. Moore died several years after Irene's birth. In about 1915, she married James Savage, a carpenter whose surname she retained after their divorce during the early 1920s. In 1923, Savage married Robert L. Poston, her third and final husband, an associate of Marcus Garvey. Poston died in 1924.

Savage's father moved his family from Green Cove Springs to West Palm Beach, Florida, in 1915. Lack of encouragement from her family and the scarcity of local clay meant that Savage did not sculpt for nearly four years. In 1919, a local potter provided clay from which she modeled a group of figures that she entered in the West Palm Beach County Fair. The figures were awarded a special prize and a ribbon of honor. Encouraged by her success, Savage moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where she hoped to support herself by sculpting portrait busts of prominent blacks in the community. When that patronage did not materialize, Savage left her daughter in the care of her parents and moved to New York City with just $4.60. She relocated to Harlem, cleaned houses to pay her rent, and studied at The Cooper Union School of Art. 

Augusta Savage
ca. 1920s
Painted plaster
During the mid-1920s when the Harlem Renaissance was at its peak, Savage lived and worked in a small studio apartment where she earned a reputation as a portrait sculptor, completing busts of prominent personalities such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey. Her best-known work of the 1920s was Gamin, above, an informal portrait bust of her nephew, for which she was awarded a Julius Rosenwald Fellowship to study abroad.

The scholarship she received was to attend the Fontainebleau School of the Arts in Paris,  however, when the American selection committee discovered she was black, they rescinded the offer, fearing objections from Southern white women who had also been accepted. The reasoning was the white women "would feel uncomfortable sharing accommodations on the ship, sharing a studio, sharing living spaces...Savage managed to get to Paris and had two works accepted for the Salon d'Automne and exhibited at the Grand Palais in Paris. In 1931 Savage won a second Rosenwald fellowship, which permitted her to remain in Paris for an additional year. She also received a Carnegie Foundation grant for eight months of travel in France, Belgium, and Germany.

Augusta Savage
Gwendolyn Knight
ca. 1934-35
18 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 9 inches
Painted plaster
Following her return to New York in 1932, Savage established the Savage Studio of Arts and Crafts and became an influential teacher in Harlem. In 1934 she became the first African-American member of the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. 

Augusta Savage
Harlem Girl (Lenore)
ca. 1935
Painted Plaster
In 1937 Savage's career took a critical turn. She was appointed the first director of the Harlem Community Art Center and was commissioned by the New York World's Fair of 1939 to create a sculpture that would symbolize the musical contributions of African Americans. Negro spirituals and hymns were what she decided to symbolize in The Harp. 

Augusta Savage
The Harp
ca. 1937
Inspired by the lyrics of James Weldon Johnson's poem Lift Every Voice and Sing, The Harp was Savage's largest work and her last major commission. She took a leave of absence from her position at the Harlem Community Art Center and spent nearly two years completing the sixteen-foot sculpture. Cast in plaster and finished to resemble black basalt, The Harp was exhibited in the court of the Contemporary Arts building where it received much acclaim. The sculpture depicted a group of twelve stylized black singers in graduated heights that symbolized the strings of the harp. The sounding board was formed by the hand and arm of God. A kneeling man holding music represented the foot pedal. Unfortunately, no funds were available to cast The Harp, nor were there any facilities in which to store it. After the fair closed, tragically it was demolished.
Augusta Savage
The Diving Boy
ca. 1939
Upon her return to the Harlem Community Art Center, Savage discovered to her dismay that her position had been filled, then the Art Center closed during World War II when federal funds were eliminated. In 1939, she made an attempt to reestablish an art center in Harlem with the opening of the Salon of Contemporary Negro Art. Savage was founder-director of the small gallery that was the first of its kind in Harlem. That venture closed shortly after its opening due to lack of funds. During the spring of 1939, Savage held a small, one-woman show at the Argent Galleries in New York.

Depressed by the loss of her job and failure of her attempts to establish art centers, in 1945 Savage retreated to the small town of Saugerties, New York, in the Catskill Mountains. She reestablished relations with her daughter where she found peace and seclusion. Savage visited New York occasionally, taught children in local summer camps, and produced a few portrait sculptures of tourists. During her years in Saugerties, Savage also explored her interest in writing children's stories, murder mysteries, and vignettes, although none were published. She died in relative obscurity on March 26, 1962, following a long bout with cancer. 
Augusta Savage
ca. 1938
Augusta Savage was a woman of relentless determination, who lived a challenging, but immensely influential life. She is a woman and an artist of merit.

Sources __________________________________________________________________
NPR, Sculptor Augusta Savage Said Her Legacy Was The Work Of Her Students,, retrieved March 31, 2020
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Augusta Savage,, retrieved March 31, 2020
Archives of Women Artists, Augusta Savage,, retrieved March 31, 2020
Clay Today, Clay County Memories: Augusta Savage Moved International Audiences,,8100, retrieved March 31, 2020

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Sophie Marston Brannan: Artist Coast to Coast

Sophie Marston Brannan
House Near Stream and Bridge
Early 20th Century
Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches
Sophie Pike Marston Marston Brannan was an American artist born in Mountain View California in 1877, and grew up in San Francisco. Her father, financier and philanthropist John E. Brannan and wife Carrie Augusta (Sheldon) Brannan, were in a financial position to support and develop Sophie's artistic talent from a very young age. At the age of seven, she began her formal training at the California School of Design and had her first exhibition of pencil sketches at 12. When Brannan was 21 years old, she spent 14 months in Paris studying her craft and upon return, resumed work at the School of Design under Arthur F. Mathews. She began her career in the Bay Area.

Brannan moved to New York about 1910 where she received recognition and won a number of awards. Although a frequent visitor to California, she remained in the East until resettling in the Bay Area after 1940.
Sophie Marston Brannan
New England Homestead
Early 20th Century
Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches
The artist produced California scenes over a long period of time. Newspaper accounts document countless sketching trips from 1901 to 1918, both local and to northern California counties such as Marin, Monterey, Napa, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz. This was during a time in which women had little freedom or autonomy, and travel was a dangerous endeavor. It is not clear as to the company Brannan kept or if she was part of a women's association that allowed travel in groups. It is clear that she produced oils, watercolors, and pastels on these trips that are distinctive for their skies, and attention to trees, particularly oaks.

Sophie Marston Brannan
c. 1912
Oil on canvas
25 x 30 inches
Brannan also had an interest in the architecture of historic structures, particularly those in Monterrey and did paintings such as General Sherman's Headquarters, Old Customs House, Rodrigues House, and Adobe in Monterey.
Sophie Marston Brannan
Cloudy Day Landscape
Early 20th Century
Oil on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Brannan was an exhibitor from 1896 until the early 1930s with shows in San Francisco and New York. In California, she participated in group events of the Mechanics Institute, San Francisco Artists Society, Sketch Club, and Hotel Del Monte in Monterey. She also hung artworks at exhibitions including the National Academy of Design in New York, Women's Art Club, New York, Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Sophie Marston Brannan
Landscape with House and Barn
Early 20th Century
Oil on canvas
Brannan apparently did little painting in her later years, working as an artist at the Alameda Air Base during World War II and for many years after, while continuing to reside in The City. Sophie Marston Brannan passed away in San Francisco, California in March of 1960 at the age of  93.

Women Artists of the American West, Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1998, pp. 27-28
Sullivan Gross, An American Gallery, March 19, 2020
Trotter Galleries,, Early California and American Fine Art, retrieved March 19, 2020

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Henrietta S. Quincy: Painter, Musician and Botanist

Relatively few women artists of any importance were active in many regions of the West during the 1850s and 1860s. Travel was long and arduous and it was not safe, nor culturally acceptable, for a woman to travel alone. As European Americans moved across the continent, the frontier line and what was the West changed from the early 1800s at the Appalachian Mountains, and in 100 years reached the Pacific Coast. 

The era of the woman artist in the American West began in 1843 with the arrival of Eliza Griffin Johnston (1821-1896) in Texas. It was not Texas, however, but California, specifically San Francisco, that became the earliest desired destination. As the completion of the Union Pacific-Central Pacific Railroad in 1869 and other transcontinental and trunk lines opened up, more women found their way to areas of interest, including Southern California with its historic missions, adobes, deserts and rugged coastlines. 

Born in Portland, ME on March 1, 1842, "Etta" Quincy was the daughter of Horatio G. Quincy, a wealthy merchant, and Mary (McAllister) Quincy.  She grew up in Portland and lived in the family residence until the great fire of 1866 virtually destroyed the home. Quincy then opened her own studio in Portland, Maine, where she painted and taught art. She studied in the art centers of Europe and spent five years in Venice during the 1870s. Returning to Portland, she had a studio where she painted and taught art. While a resident there, Quincy had works in exhibitions of the Brooklyn Art Association in 1873, '74, and '77. Her work focused on landscapes of the region.

Henrietta S. Quincy
Mountain Lakeshore Scene
Oil on canvas
12 inches x 20 inches

By 1884, Etta Quincy settled in Los Angeles which would remain her home except for visits to Boston (1902) Europe (1902 and later), and Portland (1905). As well as a painter with an excellent reputation in Portland, ME, Quincy was a gifted musician and botanist. 
Among her pieces created in California, a large oil painting done in 1886 entitled San Pedro in 1884, belongs to the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Another piece, a watercolor of the San Diego Mission sketched in 1896, is in the collection of the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles. 

Henrietta S. Quincy
Oil on canvas
22 1/4 inches x 18 1/4 inches
Private Collection, Danville, California

During her early years in Los Angels, Quincy did not join the city's early art organizations. She was however, a friend of the developers of the "new" city of Venice, at the coast, modeled after Venice, Italy and served as a source of information from her life spent in Italy. 

 No paintings or photographs of Henrietta S. Quincy were tracked down by this researcher. Quincy never married and she died in Los Angeles on Nov. 28, 1908. 

An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West, Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki-Kovinik, University of Texas Press, Austin, TX, 1998, p. 254.
Henrietta Quincy,, retrieved March 7, 2020.