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 Eugenia Frances Baker McComas  (1886 - 1982)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: landscape, portrait, still life and mural paintings

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Ad Code: 3
Eugenia Francis McComas
from Auction House Records.
Three stories and arches; Café à Poste; Arches on the left; View of a building with a fence in the foreground; Two trees with a tower beyond; Awnings under trees; View of a town with red roofs; View of a town with arches in the foreground (eight panels)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site:
Eugenia Francis Baker McComas was a landscape painter, muralist and journalist who was born in San Francisco on September 6, 1886.  She was commonly known as Gene Baker.  Gene Baker studied at Berkeley School of Arts and Crafts and with Xavier Martinez.  It was in Martinez's studio that she met the landscape painter Francis John McComas whom she married in 1917.

Prior to her marriage she was a resident of Oakland for many years and a journalist for the Oakland Tribune.  The couple settled in Monterey and traveled extensively gathering subject matter in Europe, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii and the South Seas.  She is best known as a landscapist, though she also painted portraits and still lifes. 

Her first solo exhibition was at Gump's department store in 1924.  Her first major success came with a very well received solo exhibition in New York City in 1938.  Gertrude Stein thought the mural at Del Monte Lodge on Monterey Peninsula was "the best thing she had seen in America," reported Woolfenden in recapping McComas's career.

McComas was a member of the Carmel Arts Association, the San Francisco Art Association and National Society of Mural Painters.  She exhibited at California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 to 1940, De Young Museum in 1952, Art Institute of Chicago and Pasadena Art Institute. 

Her works are held in the collections of Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, Oakland Museum, and Mills College in Oakland.

REFERENCES:

Alexander, Irene.  "Gene McComas Exhibit Powerful and Exciting."  Monterey Peninsula Herald.  November 18, 1955.

Dawdy, Doris Ostrander.  Artists of the American West:  A Biographical Dictionary.  Chicago: The Swallow Press, Inc.  1985.

Hughes, Edan Milton.  Artists in California:  1786-1940.  San Francisco: Hughes Publishing Company.  1986.

Woolfenden, John.  "Bohemian Life Recalled by Gene McComas."  Monterey Peninsula Herald.  Part I February 13, 1968.  Part II February 14, 1968.


Biography from Crocker Art Museum Store:
Eugenia (Gene) Frances Baker McComas was born in San Francisco, California on September 6, 1886. 'Gene' Baker studied at the CCAC under Xavier Martinez.  It was in Martinez's studio where she met Francis John McComas whom she married in 1917 at the Palace Hotel.  Prior to her marriage she lived in Oakland for many years and was a journalist for the Oakland Tribune.  The couple settled on the Monterey Peninsula into a home in Pebble Beach but traveled extensively gathering subject matter in Europe, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, and the South Seas.  Best known as a landscapist, she also painted portraits and still lives. She died in Monterey, California on March 21, 1982.

Member:
Carmel AA; SFAA; Nat'l Society of Mural Painters.

Exhibitions:
Gump's (SF), 1924 (solo); O'Toole Gallery (NYC), 1938 (solo); Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939; California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1940 (solo); Art Institute of Chicago, 1942 (solo); De Young Museum, 1952 (solo); Pasadena Art Inst., 1954 (solo).

Works held in Public Places: Monterey Peninsula Museum; Mills College (Oakland); Oakland Museum; Pebble Beach Lodge; Orange Co. (CA) Museum.

Sources:
WAA; WWAA 1940-62; KOV; CAR; Monterey Peninsula Herald, 3-23-1982 (obit).
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Women Artists in American (Collins & Opitz); Who's Who in American Art 1940-62; Women Artist of the American West; California Art Research, 20 volumes; Monterey Peninsula Herald, 3-23-1982 (obit).
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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Eugenia McComas is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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