|Mary Lewis |
Mary Amanda Lewis was born on September 19, 1872 (an alternate birth year of 1877 is listed in several reference sources), in San Francisco, California, the daughter of artist Franklin Jay Lewis and Cornelia (Edgerton) Lewis. By the late 1870s, the family were residents of Sacramento, California, where they remained. Mary received her earliest art and music education from her parents, who were both noted artists in their respective fields of fine art and music. Notations on Mary's Biographical Index Card indicate that her earliest art instruction, in painting and woodcut, was given by her father. In the 1890s she furthered her art studies with William F. Jackson at Sacramento's Crocker Art Gallery.
In 1911, a year after her father's death, Mary organized a weeklong retrospective exhibition, comprised of fifty paintings, representing her work and the work of her father, at the Hotel Sacramento. The exhibition included Sacramento and Monterey scenes and landscapes of areas around Lake Tahoe. According to Scott Shields, chief curator at the Crocker Art Museum, "She was better known than her dad. There are not many early Sacramento artists, so that's why she's pretty interesting."
In 1914, Mary attended William Merritt Chase's summer art class in Carmel, and her work after this period appears to have been influenced by Chase, as seen in her brush strokes and the application of complex colors in her later paintings. Her artistic talents went beyond fine art; she studied music initially under her mother's tutelage and later with noted instructors in Boston and New York, where she also performed as a cellist with several East Coast symphonies, with whom she undertook tours of Europe. In California, she continued her art and professional musical career, with frequent cello and piano performances, including five years at the Hotel Del Monte in Monterey, where she also exhibited her artwork with shows of landscapes of the Monterey Peninsula. Her oeuvre consists of works done in oils, watercolors, and pastels.
Mary Amanda Lewis passed away on September 25, 1953, in Sacramento, California.
Exhibited: California State Agricultural Society (State Fair), 1891-1895; Del Monte Art Gallery, 1910-1915; Sacramento Hotel, 1911; Sacramento Art League, 1912; First Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture by California Artists, Golden Gate Park Museum, 1915; San Francisco Art Association, 1916, 1917; Kingsley Art Club and Crocker Art Gallery, 1930-1947; Crocker-Kingsley Sixth Annual Local Exhibition, 1932, all in California.
Works Held: Society of California Pioneers and the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento.
St. Gaudens, Maurine. "Emerging from the Shadows: A Survey of Women Artists Working in California, 1860 to 1960." Vol. 3. 2015. Print.