Rowena Meeks ABDY (1887-1945)

“Her landscape studies done in water-color and oil have made her work a contribution to California history, because of her many sketching trips to old mining towns and High Sierra scenes. Her paintings preserve the atmosphere of these early day spots with the added quality of being fine art despite their subject matter.”

“Mrs. Abdy frankly tells the public for the first time that she believes in the modern art movement. “Evening, Perugia 1″ is a declaration of allegiance to the new faith. The artist refuses, so far, to disregard certain niceties of color, surfaces and representation from her former incarnation. But she adopts all else that may give the appearance of modernism.”
Florence Wieben Lehre (Oakland Tribune and Art Digest of mid-january 1929)

Read Rowena Meeks Abdy‘s biography in California Art Project, volume 12.

At a glance

Birth : April 24,1887, in Vienna (Austria)
Death : August 8, 1945, in San Francisco, California (United States)
Arrival in San Francisco Bay area : 1890
Married to Harry Benneth Abdy
Skills : Painter


Art education, teacher :  California Art Institute with Arthur F. Mathews
Relations : Gottardo Piazzoni, Armin C. Hansen
Patron : Albert M. Bender
Institutions : Club Beaux-Arts, San Francisco Art Association, Carmel Art Association, California Water Color Society, American Federation of Fine Arts

Main exhibitions

1908 Sketch Club (Also 1910 & 1912) (San Francisco)
1916 Golden Gate Park Museum, San Francisco Art Association
1918 The Robert Louis Stevenson House (Monterey)
1919 San Francisco Annual Exhibition (also 1921, 1928, 1931 & 1934)
1922 Sacramento State Fair
1923 California Water Color Society of Los Angeles
1928 Gallery Beaux-Arts (San Francisco), Art Institute of Chicago
1931 Courvoisier Gallery (San Francisco)
1934 Valdespino Gallery (San Francisco)
1936 Delphic Galleries (New York)

Resources in the Bancroft Library


John Henry Nash papers, 1909-1947, BANC MSS 72/245 c.  Letter, Jan. 29, 1925. Signed also by R. M. Abdy. Re The Heathen Chinee. Catalog Record – Finding Aid

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