Marie Elizabeth Cruess Biography

Marie Elizabeth Cruess



Marie Elizabeth Gleason Cruess was born in 1890 in San Francisco, California. Following graduation from Polytechnic High School, she took courses at the Art Students League in San Francisco and then New York, where she studied under Hans Hoffman. She also studied in Paris and Rome before returning to the Bay Area, taking a teaching job in the public school system while residing in Oakland with her sister and parents.

In 1917 she met and married renowned food scientist and pioneering professor of viticulture William Cruess. They settled in Berkeley where she continued to paint and exhibit. The Cruess' traveled frequently, camping and hiking throughout the Sierras and elsewhere in California with seasoned naturalists, including John Muir. These trips provided inspiration for much of Marie's work. In 1930 the adventurous couple toured Cairo on camelback, and traveled to the wine regions of Europe to further William's research.

After the death of her husband in 1969, Marie moved to Greenbrae, where she lived until her death on March 17, 1989.

Among her listed exhibitions are SF Art Association, from years 1914 to 1970; SF Women Artists (dates not listed); Oakland Art Gallery, 1928 and 1932; Calif. Statewide (Santa Cruz), 1929; SFMA Inaugural, 1935; GGIE, 1939.

A scholarship in Marie and William Cruess' names is awarded to students of food and nutrition sciences at UC Davis.