Mary Herrick Ross

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"Shoreline Seascape"
Oil on canvas
14 x 19 inches

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Mary Paxton Herrick was born in San Francisco, California, on September 29,1856, the daughter of artist William Fredrick Herrick and Lucy Finnes (Kendall) Herrick. Mary was the eldest of seven children born to the Herricks, several of whom pursued study in fine art, including her sister artist Matgaret Cox Herrick who had a lifelong carrer as an artist. From an early age, Mary showed artistic talent and was taught to draw by her father. In addition to being an artist, her father was a wealthy business man who, in 1873, helped to establish the San Francisco School of Design. In 1874, Mary was the first pupil to enroll. She studied under Virgil Williams, who was the first director of the school, and the artist Raymond Dabb Yelland.

In 1876, Mary married Collin Ross, and the couple had two sons. Documented signatures for the artist include: Mary Herrick, M. Herrick, and Mary Herrick Ross. Between 1907 and 1909, she studied in Europe with her two artist-sisters. On her return to San Francisco, her European art was well received in the local press. During the winter of 1909-1910, she rented the studio of Francis McComas in San Francisco. The family lived in SanFrancisco, while maintaining a cottage in Carmel, until 1914, when they moved across the Bay to a home in Piedmont. She continued to divide her time between home/studios in Carmel and Piedmont for the rest of her life.

Mary was a painter of still lifes, gardens, landscapes, and seascapes. It appears that Mary was prolific during her lifetime, although her work remains undocumented. Active in the San Francisco arts community, in 1891 she was one of the founding members of the California Keramic Club and maintained membership in numerous Bay Area organizations throughout her life.

Exhibited: Mechanics Insitute, San Francisco, 1873-1909; San Francisco Art Association, 1873-1919; Morris, Schwab & Co. Gallery, 1874; California Building, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893; California Midwinter International Exposition, 1894; Mark Hopkins Institute of Art, SF, 1897; California State Fair, 1895, 1896; Century Club of SF, 1898, 1899; Bohemian Club, 1899; Oakland Art Fund Annuals, 1904, 1905;Schussler Brothers Gallery, SF, 1905; Starr King Fraternity, 1905; Oakland Home Club, 1905, 1908; Claremont Country Club, 1910; Del Monte Art Gallery, 1911; Rabjohn & Morcom Gallery, SF, 1913-1915, 1920; First Exhibition of California Artists at the Golden Gate Park Museum, 1915; California Palace of Fine Arts, 1916; East Bay Artsist Exb. Oakland Art Gallery, 1917; CA Federation of Women's Clubs Oakland, 1918; Arts and Crafts Club, 1913-1921; Stanford University, 1921; Claremont Hotel Art Gallery, 1922, 1925; Carmel Art Ass., 1930, 1931; Monterey County Fair, 1931; Adams-Danysh Galleries, 1934; Bay Region Art Ass. At Palace of Legion of Honor, 1935; Shriner's Convention, San Francisco, 1923.

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