After Isabella’s death in 1872, her daughter, Josephine Turner, moved to Oakland with her husband, William W. Powell, a porter on the new transcontinental railroad. Their daughter, Pauline, demonstrated artistic and musical talent at a young age and pursued years of study of both painting and piano. She gave numerous public recitals in the Bay Area and was hailed as “the bright musical star of her state.”
Pauline would go on to become the first African American to exhibit artwork in the state of California. The California School of Design was open to blacks but few had the advantages of a middle class life that would permit them to pursue such an uncertain career.
Oil on canvas
Independent Spirits, Women Painters of the American West, 1890-1945, Patricia Trenton, ed.,University of California Press: Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1995, p. 12.
Swann Auction Galleries, http://swanngalleriesinc.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-tale-of-two-women-pioneering.html, retrieved October 12, 2015.
Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Pauline Powell Burns, https://www.monticello.org/getting-word/people/pauline-powell-burns, retrieved October 12, 2015.