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 Bertha Elizabeth Stringer Lee  (1869 - 1937)



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Lived/Active: California      Known for: landscape, coastal view painting

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Bertha Stringer is primarily known as Bertha Elizabeth Stringer Lee

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Ad Code: 3
Bertha Elizabeth Stringer Lee
from Auction House Records.
Eucalyptus in the Mist
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A painter of California landscapes especially in the Bay Area, Monterey, and Lake Tahoe, Bertha Lee was born in San Francisco, on December 6, 1869.  In 1907, she traveled to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

She was the daughter of William Stringer, wealthy president of a storage company, and Ida May Herzog Stringer, and as a young woman, was a socialite as well as art student.

She studied in the studio of William Keith, and at the California School of Design with Arthur Mathews, and briefly in New York with Joseph Mathews and Paris and Germany.  At age 14 she was exhibiting locally.

In 1894 she married Louis Eugene Lee, an electrician, and maintained a studio in her home at 2744 Steiner Street where she gave teas and without a need to sell her work commercially, made gifts of her paintings to friends.  Tragically many of her paintings were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire.

Of her fascination with painting scenes of California, she said: "One can find all any artist could demand in variety and beauty of subject." (Kovinick 186).  Among her oil paintings were ones with titles of Poppies and Lupines, Eucalyptus, Old Adobe, San Carlos Mission; and Near Lake Merced.

She exhibited extensively including at the Mark Hopkins Institute, the Sequoia Club, California State Fair; San Francisco Art Association, the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle and the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

Bertha Lee died on March 19, 1937 in San Francisco at the age of 68.

Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in San Francisco, California on Dec. 6, 1869, Bertha Stringer was the socialite-daughter of a wealthy storage company owner who encouraged her pursuit of art. Following graduation from UC Berkeley, she studied in the studio of William Keith, at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute under Arthur Mathews, Raymond Yelland, and Amédée Joullin, and briefly in New York and Paris.   At age 14 she was exhibiting locally.

In 1894 she married Eugene Lee and maintained a studio in her home at 2744 Steiner Street where she gave teas and made gifts of her paintings to friends.  Mrs. Lee was a prolific painter of impressionist and tonal scenes of the Monterey Peninsula and the San Francisco Bay. A lifelong resident of San Francisco, she died on March 19, 1937.

Exh: Mechanics' Inst. (SF), 1887-95; Calif. State Fair, 1889-1902 (prizes); World's Columbian Expo (Chicago), 1893 (prize); SFAA, 1895-1913; Sketch Club, 1895-1908; Starr King Fraternity, 1905; Del Monte Art Gallery, 1907-12; Alaska-Yukon Expo (Seattle), 1909 (bronze medal); Sorosis Club, 1913; Sequoia Club, 1914; Golden Gate Park Museum, 1915; Richelieu Gallery (SF), 1922 (solo).

In: St Mary's College (Moraga); Oakland Museum; De Young Museum.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
American Art Annual 1919-33; Who's Who in American Art 1936; Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers (Fielding, Mantle); Women Artists of the American West; Keith, Old Master of California (Brother Cornelius); SF Examiner, 4-4-1937 (obituary).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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