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Lucia Kleinhans Mathews

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Lucia Kleinhans Mathews

American, (1870–1955)
Lucia Mathews was an American painter born and raised in San Francisco, California, primarily known for her work depicting California landscapes and the state flower, the California Poppy. A lifelong Californian, she was the wife and partner of artist, Arthur Frank Mathews, a well-regarded painter, muralist, and teacher in the Bay Area. Together they founded the Furniture Shop and the Philopolis Press in 1906. Her work is evocative of the California Arts and Crafts style. Though Arthur and Lucia Mathews are significant in the history of California art, Lucia’s legacy has largely been forgotten. While a talented and acknowledged artist in her own right, her work is always featured in connection to her husbands’, more emphasis is placed on her decorative work and not her body of work. It was not until after a series of major exhibitions about California art and design from the 1970s onward did scholars and reappraisals of her work begin. This increasing interest culminated in a major exhibition of their work—as singular artists and collaborators—titled “California as Muse: The Art of Arthur and Lucia Mathews” which ran from 2006 to 2007 at the Oakland Museum of California, whose permanent collection houses a majority of their work and archives.

She was an alumna of Mills College, Class of 1893.

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