|Arthur F. Mathews |
George Stern Fine Arts actively purchases works by Arthur Mathews.
Click here for a free evaluation.
Painter, muralist, and craftsman, Arthur F. Mathews was born in Markesan, Wisconsin on October 1, 1860. The Mathews family moved to Oakland when Arthur was six years old. He attended Oakland High school and received his first art instruction there from Helen Tanner Brodt. As a teenager, he worked in his father’s architectural office. Having opted for an art career, he enrolled at the San Francisco school of Design where he studied with Virgil Williams while working as a design-illustrator for Britton & Rey Lithographers. He further studied for four years in Paris at Academie-Julian under Boulanger and Lefebvre.
Returning to San Francisco in 1889, he became director of the School of Design. After reorganizing the school, for the next 17 years he exerted great influence on hundreds of his pupils, many of whom became internationally known. After the earthquake and fire of 1906, he and his wife Lucia, worked in their California Street workshop making hand crafted furniture, frames, and producing art works that where highly individualistic, and popularized a style known today as California Decorative Style. His murals and paintings exemplify the Art Nouveau style while others are Pre- Raphaelite in design. By the time of the Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915, art styles had begun to change and the creeping Modernism made works of Mathews appear old-fashioned and for half a century his work was in eclipse. He died in San Francisco on February 19, 1945.
Member: Bohemian Club; San Francisco Art Association.
Exhibited: Paris Expositions 1889, 1898; Paris Salon, 1887-89,1898; Chicago World’s Fair, 1893; California Midwinter Expo,1894; Panama Pacific International Exposition, 1915 (16 entries, he was also a member of the international Jury of Awards); Mark Hopkins Institute, 1897-98; Oakland Museum, 1985.
Awards: gold medal, Academie Julian, 1886; Phelan awards, San Francisco Art Association, 1896: gold medal, American Institute of Architects, 1923.
Works held: Curran Theater, Masonic Temple on Van Ness Avenue, Lane Library at Presbyterian Hospital, Mechanics’ Institute Library, Children’s Hospital, all in San Francisco; Oakland Public Library; Oakland Museum; State Capitol in Sacramento (rotunda mural which depicts the history of California); Stanford University Library; Metropolitan Museum; University of California Library (mural).
Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print.