Covered box

Designed and decorated by Lucia Kleinhans Mathews American
Executed by The Furniture Shop American

Not on view

After the devastating earthquake and fire in San Francisco in 1906, artist Lucia Kleinhans Mathews and her husband, the artist Arthur Frank Mathews, partnered with entrepreneur John Zeile, Jr., to establish the Furniture Shop in the city as it began its re-building efforts. The firm, which operated until 1920, produced handcrafted decorative arts for the home, such as furniture and small pieces, like painted wooden boxes, frames, and bases for lamps and table clocks. The smaller works were primarily designed and decorated by Lucia Mathews. Many of these pieces, like this gilded, covered box, showcase her colorful palette and typical conventionalized decoration. Here, Mathews depicted a female figure in multicolored, classicizing robes dancing amidst garlands of stylized blossoms and foliage. This and others produced at the Furniture Shop by the Mathews highlight the California Decorative Style that was distinctive to the West Coast Arts & Crafts movement.

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