Mathilde de Cordoba Biography

Mathilde de Cordoba




Painter and printmaker Mathilde De Cordoba was born between 1875 and 1880 in New York City (dates vary with publications). Coming from a family that fostered interest in the arts, she and her brother, Pedro, were exposed to visual and performance art from an early age; Pedro himself would go on to become a star of the stage and screen.

Early in her art career De Cordoba studied under Kenyon Cox at the Art Students League and with William Merritt Chase at Shinnecock Summer School; later in life, she would return to the League to broaden her studies with Hans Hoffman and Andre l'Hote. She was a member of the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, the New York Water Color Club (exh. November of 1898), New York Women's Art Club (exh. April of 1906), the Engraver Printers of London, and the Societe de la Gravure en Couleur in Paris. 
She was also associated with the Byrdcliffe Arts & Crafts Colony near Woodstock, NY. Between 1908 and 1913 she lived, studied, and exhibited in Europe and Britain, participating in Paris Salons and hanging a solo exhibition in 1910 at the Dowdeswell Gallery in London. Several of her works were purchased by the Paris government and the New York Public Library.

Just as she was establishing an interational reputation, an illness, possibly brought on by the continued use of etching inks and acids, partially blinded her. It took several years until an operation restored her sight and she was able to return to working; by then, her career had stalled. She continued despite this setback and from the 1930s until her death in 1942 she worked with the WPA as a printmaker. She was especially known for her portraits, and many of them are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the New York Public Library.

De Cordoba exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Academy of Deisgn, the National Association of Women Artists, the Pen and Brush Club, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915. She died in Valhalla, New York, in 1942.