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Bertha Stringer Lee Photo Bertha Elizabeth Stringer Lee 1869 - 1937

Bertha Elizabeth Stringer was born into a wealthy San Francisco family the year after the completion of the transcontinental railroad. As a young woman, she was a socialite and an art student. She studied with William Keith and at the California School of Design with Arthur Mathews. For a brief time, she pursued her studies in New York, Paris, and Germany.

Bertha Stringer Lee Carmel by the Sea Midsized Thumbnail
Carmel by the Sea
Bertha Stringer Lee Haybarge on San Francisco Bay Midsized Thumbnail
Hay Barge San Francisco Bay

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She married Louis Eugene Lee, an electrician (the high tech trade of her age.) She kept a studio in her home on Steiner Street. Because she had no need to sell her work, she gave much of it away to friends as gifts. Like other artists in San Francisco at the time, many of her works were lost in the fire following the 1906 earthquake.

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"One can find all any artist could demand in variety and beauty of subject." That's what Bertha said of California as a home for artists. She painted many California scenes: its flowers, its historic missions, San Francisco Bay, and Lake Tahoe. Her works were exhibited widely, including at the Mark Hopkins Institute, the Sequoia Club, the California State Fair, the San Francisco Art Association, and the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

Sources: Askart, Phil Kovinick and Marian Yoshiki Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West, and Artists at Continent's End; the Monterey Penninsula Art Colony, 1875 - 1907, Scott A. Shields.