Manuel Valencia was a landscape painter born in Marin County, California on October 30, 1856 on a family hacienda called Rancho San Jose (now Hamilton Field). A member of one of California's earliest families, Manuel was named for his grandfather who came to California with the Anza Party in 1774 and became administrator of the Presidio in San Francisco. The Valencias were given many land grants in the San Francisco Bay area and a street near Mission Dolores is named in honor of them. Manuel attended Santa Clara College and then established a studio in San Francisco. He began painting while quite young and remained a self-taught artist except for a few lessons locally with Jules Tavernier and in Mexico City. The earthquake and fire in 1906 caused the Valencias to move down the peninsula to San Jose; however he commuted to his San Francisco studio. There he was a staff artist for the Chronicle and an illustrator for the Salvation Army newspaper. Following an operation, he died in San Francisco on July 6, 1935. His ashes were scattered on Mount Tamalpais.
A prolific painter, Valencia is famous for his landscapes and historic scenes of Northern California, often with adobes, missions and pueblos.
Works Held: California Historical Society; Orange County, California; San Jose Historical Museum; Nevada Museum, Reno; Oakland Museum; Huntington Art Gallery, San Marino; Bohemian Club; State Capitol, Sacramento.
Hughes, Edan M. Artists In California 1786-1940. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Sacramento: Crocker, Art Museum, 2002. N. pag. 2 vols. Print.