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Arthur Mathews (1860-1945)

 

Arthur Mathews was born in Markesan, Wisconsin, in 1860 and moved to Oakland, California with his family at the age of 6.  Mathews studied and the San Francisco School of Design and the Academie Julian in Paris. 

 

Upon his return to the states, Mathews was given the job of Director of the School of Design, a job hed hold until the earthquake and fire of 1906.  Mathews had a tremendous impact on the arts community in San Francisco in that he espoused very traditional theories of tonal color and classical, often allegorical beauty.  His conservatism was at times railed against, as Mathews eschewed virtually all forms of modernist representation. 

 

Following the 1906 earthquake, Mathews and his wife Lucia opened the Mathews Furniture Shop, creating exceptional decorative furniture in a style that blended arts and crafts with art nouveau.  A seminal figure in early California tonalism and arts and crafts, Arthur Mathews died in San Francisco in 1945.



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