Native Californian, Henrietta Riddle Fish was an exceptionally gifted landscape painter.
She was born in 1856 in Benicia, the town which briefly served as California's capitol, located where the Sacramento River flows into San Francisco Bay. Henrietta's parents came to California during the Gold Rush in 1849, and remained to raise their family. She graduated from Benicia's Young Ladies Seminary. In later years, the school moved to Oakland and is now known as St. Mary's College. Henrietta taught at the Young Ladies Seminary briefly in 1879-1880. At that time, she kept exotic pets on the family estate such as snakes, alligators, and peacocks.
She pursued her art studies at the School of Design in San Francisco, and remained active in the art world painting landscapes and portraits until her death in 1925. She exhibited her work at the Mechanic's Institute in San Francisco between 1878 - 1894. Her work was also exhibited at the Women's Building at the World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893.
Sources : Artists in California 1786 - 1940, Edan Milton Hughes, 3d ed., Riddell Fish House ... Historic American Building's Survey, National Architectural and Engineering Record, National Park Service, Department of the Interior.