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 Henrietta Mary Shore  (1880 - 1963)

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Lived/Active: California/New York / Canada      Known for: modernist landscape, figure, and portrait painting, murals

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Ad Code: 2
Henrietta Mary Shore
from Auction House Records.
Untitled (Cypress Trees, Point Lobos)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Toronto, Canada on Jan. 22, 1880, Henrietta Shore began painting at age 13 and studied at St Mary's College in Toronto and later in New York City at the Art Students League with William Merritt Chase, Frank Vincent Dumond, and Robert Henri.

While in London she continued at the Heatherly Art School and was the only private pupil of John Singer Sargent who greatly influenced her work.  After arriving in Los Angeles in 1913, she became active in the local art scene and was a founder of the Modern Art Society.  She maintained a studio in Los Angeles until 1920 and then led a peripatic existence: Newfoundland (1920), Maine (1921, NYC (1920-23), Mexico 1927-28), and San Francisco (1928-29).

Shore was internationally known when an invitation to exhibit brought her to the Monterey Peninsula in 1930.  After establishing a studio in Carmel, she remained and continued painting.  Penniless, she spent her last few years were in the State Mental Hospital in San Jose, CA where she died on May 17, 1963.

Her early works were realistic but matured into impressionist and semi-abstract forms. Her visual repertoire includes landscapes, figure studies, portraiture, and floral still lifes. Robert Henri hailed her as one of the great women painters of her time.

Henrietta Shore and her Work by Merle Armitage was published in 1963, and a chapter was devoted to her in the 1939 book entitled Art from the Mayans to Walt Disney by Jean Charlot.

Memberships: Society of Independent Artists; NY Society of Women Artists (founder); Painters & Sculptors of LA (founder).

Panama-California Expo (San Diego), 1915 (silver medal); San Francisco Art Association, 1916-30 (prizes); LA Museum of History, Science & Art, 1914, 1917, 1918, 1927; California Art Club, 1917; Modern Art Workers (LA), 1919-25; California Watercolor Society, 1926; San Diego Fine Arts Gallery, 1927 (solo); San Francisco Women Artists, 1928 (1st prize); California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1928, 1931 (solos); Watrous Gallery (Carmel), 1933; De Young Museum, 1933 (solo); Foundation of Western Art (LA), 1935; Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939; Carmel Art Association, 1946, 1963 (solos); Monterey Peninsula Museum, 1986 and Laguna Museum, 1987 (solos).

DeSaisset Museum (Santa Clara); Library of Congress; Nat'l Gallery of Canada; San Diego Museum; Dallas Museum; University of Washington (Seattle).

Murals: Assessor's Office (SF); Santa Cruz (CA) Post Office; Custom House and Post Office (Monterey).

Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A painter of stylized human figures and still lifes, especially close studies of seashells, Henrietta Shore became known for Abstract Realism.  She was one of the founding members of the New York Society of Women Artists and was also a pioneer of West Coast modernist art.  Shore's ability to magnify common objects led to comparisons between her work and botanical studies of Georgia O'Keeffe.

Henrietta Shore was born in Toronto, Canada, and took her art training at The Art Students League in New York City with Kenneth Hayes Miller and with Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase.  She stayed in New York for many years and then attended London's Heatherly Art School where she became a good friend of John Singer Sargent.

In 1913, she went to Los Angeles and helped establish the Los Angeles Society of Modern Artists.  She won a silver medal at the 1915 Pan-American Exposition in San Diego, and three years later, she and Helena Dunlap had a two-woman exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum.

She returned to New York City and in 1921 took United States citizenship.  Her artistic reputation increased and in the late 1920s, she had a retrospective of her work at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts and got favorable reviews.

In 1924, she was among twenty-five women chosen to represent American women in Paris and that year also traveled to Mexico where she did portraits of artists Jose Orozco and Jean Charlot.

Three years later, she returned to California where she became a close companion to photographer Edward Weston, who did a series of photographs based on her perceptions of nature.  In 1936, she worked for the Treasury Relief Art Project doing murals near Carmel and Monterey, one of them installed at the Monterey post office and another at the post office in Santa Cruz.

In her later years, she became reclusive in her home in Carmel, and the Carmel Art Association honored her posthumously with a retrospective of her paintings.

Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein, American Women Artists, p. 262

Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Carmel:
Henrietta Shore was born in Toronto, Canada, in 1863.  Her art studies were at the Art Students League in New York, and at the Heatherly Art School in London, where she befriended John Singer Sargent.  Shore is remembered as a major figure among women Modernists.  In 1913, she helped found the Society of Modern Artists in Los Angeles, where she exhibited until approximately 1920, when she left for New York and Europe.

She achieved international acclaim in her lifetime for her modernist still lifes, portraits, and especially her floral paintings, which were compared to O’Keeffe’s.  Henrietta Shore was a resident of Carmel when she died in 1963.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Henrietta Shore is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
The California Art Club
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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