|Lucia K. Mathews|
How is it that an artist who trained in Paris with James McNeill Whistler, who maintained her own art studio in San Francisco for years, and whose association with that world included William Merritt Chase, remained unrecognized in her lifetime? The answer lies in the issues that surrounded gender and artistic identity at the turn of the century in Victorian Northern California. While Arthur decorated the foyers of theatres, libraries and the ornate mansions of the wealthy, Lucia worked in pastel and watercolor. She preferred small-scale works. Her subjects were domestic scenes.
Lucia was born Lucia Kleinhans in San Francisco and attended Mills College for one year before enrolling in the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, at which her future husband was the Director. They married in 1894.  Lucia Mathews and her husband, Arthur, were two of the most prominent artists in
Three Women Standing in a Window
Oil on canvas
23 ½ x 31 inches
5 in. high x 16 in. wide x 12 in. deepOakland Museum of California
The Furniture Shop
Oakland Museum of California
Watercolor on canvas paper
1. With the exception of one and two line newspaper reports on their silver medal for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. (see "The Exposition Awards: California Artists," San Francisco Chronicle, July 25, 1915).
2. Lucia Mathews (1870-1955), http://www.hardygalleries.com/Default.asp?Page=70, (accessed March 11, 2013), source: "American Women Artists" by Charlotte Streifer Rubenstein.
4. Michael S. Gant, California Dreaming, Metroactive http://www.metroactive.com/metro/12.13.06/arthur-and-lucia-mathews-0650.html, (accessed March 11, 2013).