Arthur and Lucia Mathews

At the end of the nineteenth century, as a reaction and revolt against the smog and tyranny of the newly industrialized world, a group of English craftsmen and artists began to preach a return to simplicity. Their words began the Arts and Crafts Movement, which rapidly spread throughout Europe and America. By the beginning of the twentieth century, followers of the Movement were flocking to California to enjoy the splendor of the state’s fresh air and natural beauty. More …

In 1906, Arts and Crafts followers Arthur Mathews (1850-1945) and his wife Lucia Mathews (1870-1955) started producing hand-made furniture and decorative house wares in a small San Francisco workshop named The Furniture Shop. Their style was distinctly Californian, highlighting the native flora and picturesque landscapes for which the state was known.

The Oakland Museum of California houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of Mathews works in the world. It is comprised of over 500 artworks and objects including paintings, sketches, furniture, and frames, as well ephemera and other archival material. Mr. Harold Wagner and the OMCA Art Guild donated the majority of this collection to the OMCA in the mid-1960s.

One of the highlights of the Mathews collection is the large stained glass window designed by Arthur Mathews for the San Francisco Women’s City Club. The Club commissioned the window in 1925 as a memorial to Mrs. Franc Pierce Hammon who, as chairwoman of the Club’s 1925 membership campaign, quadrupled the Club’s membership in one month’s time prior to her death only two weeks later. The window—the perhaps the only glass work designed by Mathews—remained in the Clubhouse until the building was demolished over 30 years later. The window-within-window design epitomizes the California Arts and Crafts style, displaying a lush landscape of magnolias, poppies, and rhododendrons surrounding a mountain village beneath a golden cloudscape.

 

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Rectagular Box with Lid
1929
circa 1906-1915

This is a mahogany writing table that is incised with figures and floral motifs.  Decoration appears on the table top in a border near edge and on the drawer fronts.  Brass hardware...

1905

Furniture Shop frame

Sketches - Illustrations  ((Decor Designs))
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NOTES: Returned from conservation at the Achenbach 8/29/86.

Sketches - Illustrations  ((Decor Designs))
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NOTES: Returned from conservation at the Achenbach 8/29/86.

Sketches - Illustrations  ((Decor Designs))
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NOTES: Returned from conservation at the Achenbach 8/29/86.

Sketches - Illustrations  ((Decor Designs))
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NOTES: Returned from conservation at the Achenbach 8/29/86.

California Poppies in Blue Bowl
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Paris Studio Interior  (Studio Interior with Figures); A Studio Corner
c. 1887
1899
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1899
1905

NOTES: Possibly a study for "California"

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NOTES: To SFMMA Cons. Lab, 6 Apr 87. Returned to collections 11/18/87.

Sacred and Profane Love
1915

This is an oil painting on canvas that depicts to female figures sitting on a ledge in a garden. The figure at center has red hair and wears a long flowing dress. Facing forward, she holds a...

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NOTES: Frame removed 1972 to 65. 13.14

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NOTES: To SFMMA Cons. Lab, 6 Apr 87. Returned to collections 11/18/87.

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c. 1895

APPROXIMATE DATE: 1895 NOTES: To SFMMA Cons. Lab, 6 Apr 87. Retn'd to collections 9/15/87.

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