Jeannette Maxfield Lewis Biography

Jeannette Maxfield Lewis




Jeannette Maxfield Lewis, painter and printmaker, was born in Oakland, California on April 19, 1894. Her parents enrolled her in the Castilleja School for Girls in Palo Alto where she was first exposed to fine art and was inspired to pursue painting. Following graduation she entered the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute). There, she was a student of Gottardo Piazzoni whose work would remain an influence throughout her career. Maxfield then spent a brief period in New York studying with Hans Hofmann where she was immersed in Modernism, particularly German Expressionism.

Upon returning to California she was employed for a time at Foster and Kleiser, an outdoor advertising company with a painting factory in San Francisco. After her marriage to H. C. Lewis in 1920, the couple moved to Fresno, California while maintaining a summer home in Pebble Beach. During summers she studied with Armin Hansen and she began exploring printmaking techniques in 1931.

Jeannette Maxfield Lewis was a member of and exhibited with the San Francisco Society of Women Artists, the California Society of Etchers, the Printmakers Society of California, the Society of Western Artists, the National Association of Women Artists, and the Pacific, Fresno, Santa Cruz and Carmel Art Associations. Her work was included in numerous group exhibitions and solo exhibitions of her work were mounted at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, the Fresno Arts Center, and the Crocker Museum in Sacramento.

The Lewis' moved permanently to Pebble Beach in the 1955, and Jeannette continued to work and exhibit. By now, Lewis was known for her work in painting (oil and watercolor), pastels, pen and ink drawings, and etchings. Sadly, upon her husband's death in 1964, she abandoned art altogether. Jeannette Maxfield Lewis died in Monterey, California on April 22, 1982.

Public repositories of her work include the Art Institute of Chicago; the Library of Congress and the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the New York Public Library, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Oakland Museum of California; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the California State Library, Sacramento; the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Tennessee; and the Fresno Art Center, among others.

Selected Exhibitions:
1928: San Francisco Art Association, 1928; California Statewide Exhibition (Santa Cruz)
1930: California State Fair; Santa Cruz Art League
1932-'36, 1944: National Academy of Design.
1932 - 1945: National Association of Women Artists
1932, '33, 1950 - 1956: California Society of Etchers
1933: CSE (award)
1934: San Diego FA Society
1934, '35, '37: LACMA
1938: Santa Cruz Art League; NAWA
1939: California State Library (solo); New York World's Fair
1945, '46: Library of Congress, New York
1946: Crocker Art Gallery (solo)
1948: Oakland Museum
1949, '55, '56: De Young Museum, San Francisco
1954: Society of American Graphic Artists
1963: Smithsonian Institution
1976: Fresno Art Center (solo)
1994: Monterey Peninsula Museum, 1994 (posthumous)