Lucy Pierce

"Canal, Venice, Italy"
Drybrush on Paper
9 1/2 x 7 inches

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Lucy Valentine Pierce was born July 27, 1886, in San Francisco, California. In 1894, the Pierce family moved to Berkeley, where Lucy was raised.

Lucy's art education reportedly began in her early teens when she studied privately with artist Xavier Martinez. Further study included at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, San Francisco; The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; and the California School of Arts and Crafts in Berkeley. Later she studied with Armin Hansen and John Gamble in Monterey. By 1915, she maintained a studio at the Treehaven Apartments, a family-owned complex in Berkeley. In the early 1920s she began her association with the artists' community of the Monterey Peninsula and in 1923 she adopted this area as her home, building a bungalow home/studio, where she lived until 1941.

Her oeuvre includes oils, watercolor and charcoal, conté crayon, and pen and ink illustrations. Her subjects were portraits, murals, landscapes, and scenic views of California, Taos, New Mexico, and Europe, with a series of drawings executed during an extended trip to France and Italy in 1928. A 1930 San Francisco Chronicle article about the artist and her European experience stated: "In 1928 she went abroad and spent the year studying introspectively rather that academically, in museums and galleries. When asked what she did while abroad, she paradoxically replied: 'It was the many things I did not do in which I did the most.'"

Lucy was a member of and frequent exhibitor with the San Francisco Society of Women Artists, the Sketch Club in San Francisco, and the San Francisco Galerie Beaux Arts Club, and she was a charter member of the California College of Arts and Crafts. In 1953, she moved to San Diego, California, eventually settling in the adjacent community of La Jolla, where she continued exhibiting her work in local exhibitions and gallery venues. The last major exhibition of her work was a 1973 retrospective held at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California.

Lucy Pierce passed away on June 28, 1974, in La Jolla, California.

Exhibited: Panama-Pacific International Exposition, SF, 1915; Oakland Public Museum, 1916; San Francisco Art Association, 1916, (watercolors of flowers and Balboa Blue Lagoon), 1923, 1925 (oil, Under the Boughs), 1930; Hotel Oakland, Benefit for the California College of Arts and Crafts, 1924; Del Monte Art Gallery, 1925; Pan-American Art Show, 1925, Los Angeles; East-West Gallery, 1927, SF; El Prado Gallery, 1929, San Diego; The Little Gallery, Carmel, 1929; Stanford Art Gallery, 1930; California State Fair, 1930; Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939 (print).

St. Gaudens, Maurine. Emerging from the Shadows: Women Artists Working in California, 1860-1960. 2015. Print.
Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print.