Mary Curtis Richardson was an impressionist painter and known as the "Mary Cassatt of the West". At age 18, Mary and her sister Leila went to New York City and studied at Cooper Union for two years. She returned to San Francisco and helped to set up the San Francisco Art Institute [School of Design]. An impressionist, she is probably best known for her portrait paintings with a mother-and-child theme. Her other portrait work included that of David Starr Jordan (first president of Stanford University), Susan Tolman (Mrs. Cyrus) Mills, (co-founder of Mills College) and University of California language professor F. V. Paget. Richardson was a member of the Worcester Group in the 1890s, which met regularly for informal discussions and to socialize under the leadership of Reverend Joseph Worcester (also an amateur architect). Included in this group were artists such as William Keith and Bruce Porter, architects Willis Polk, Ernest Coxhead, John Galen Howard, Charles Keeler and writer Gelett Burgess.