- Image Galleries
- EVA SCOTT FÉNYES: BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES AND IMAGES
- LEONORA SCOTT MUSE CURTIN: BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES AND IMAGES
- LEONORA FRANCES CURTIN PALOHEIMO: BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES AND IMAGES
- WISC SYMPOSIUM 2014
- IN TRIBUTE: MARILYN MASON
- ACEQUIA MADRE HOUSE INTERIORS
- ACEQUIA MADRE HOUSE EXTERIORS
Eva Scott was born in 1849. An adolescent during the Civil War, Eva Scott Fényes later painted Charles Lindbergh, as he landed his plane at an airstrip in Santa Fe, and photographed DW Griffith as he made movies on the grounds of her California home. The carte de visite photograph was taken at the studio of Matthew Brady.
One was Hudson River School painter Sanford Gifford who encouraged her painting, especially as a record of places she visited. Throughout her life, she painted everything she saw, creating thousands of watercolors, sketches and oil paintings.
Eva was a talented and well trained artist, the daughter of wealthy New York publisher and real estate investor, Leonard Scott. The family traced its roots to the Mayflower. Influenced by the teachings of Emerson and Ruskin, Leonard Scott made certain to develop his daughter’s intellectual life and taught her to manage her own money. Eva’s early life was spent traveling with her parents as her father sought warm and exotic climates to bolster his delicate health. They made the Grand Tour, meeting prominent cultural figures of the time along the way.
Eva married U.S. Marine Corps Lt., W. S. Muse of Maryland in 1878. Their daughter Leonora was born the following year.
Unhappy with military life and Lt. Muse, Eva brought her ten year old daughter to territorial New Mexico in 1889 settling in Santa Fe, where she built her first Santa Fe home, spent a year and a half as part of the growing Anglo-American community and during her stay, obtained a divorce.
Eva continued to paint and photograph her surroundings. She traveled to Europe and Egypt for additional training in art. In Cairo she met Hungarian physician, Adalbert Fényes. He was also an entomologist, specializing in beetles, a post Darwinian gentleman-scientist.
They married, collected Leonora from boarding school in Switzerland, and settled in Pasadena, California in 1896. Eva continued to study with and to promote artists of the region while successfully investing in stocks and real estate in the booming Los Angeles area. Eva’s house reflected her fantasies as well as her needs. Her first house was a Moorish mansion complete with stuffed peacock. The subsequent Beaux-Arts Orange Grove Blvd. residence was more modest, without a ballroom, reflecting a different stage in her life.
The Belfry and Bells of Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, 1902 Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center FEN.13
Both houses were centers of artistic activity. Urged on by Los Angeles historian, champion of preservation causes and founder of the Southwest Museum, Charles Lummis, Eva Fényes began what would be a 30 year project painting and photographing California’s missions as well as other adobe structures that were disappearing from the California landscape. Three hundred of these paintings form a collection now at the Autry National Center. http://collections.theautry.org/
Church Bell Tower of Mission San Carlos Borromeo, 1904 / Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center FEN.42
Both houses were centers of artistic activity.
At the urging of Los Angeles historian, champion of preservation causes and founder of the Southwest Museum, Charles Lummis, Eva Fényes began what would be a 30 year project painting and photographing California’s missions as well as other adobe structures that were disappearing from the California landscape. Three hundred of these paintings form a collection now at the Autry National Center. http://collections.theautry.org/
Running from an Enemy; a Kiowa Chasing a Navajo Date 1877 Courtesy of Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center Object ID 4100.G.1.5
Her abiding interest in Native American art began during visits to St. Augustine Florida where she became aware of Native American prisoners at Fort Marion Florida painting scenes from their former lives on lined ledger paper. She sent to New York for art supplies and supported their work. Their paintings can be seen on the Autry National Center website.
L to R, Back row [Mrs.]Leonora SM Curtin, Julius Rolshoven, Mrs. Rollins, Eva Scott Fényes Front row L to R Mrs. Rolshoven, [Miss] Leonora F.Curtin [later Paloheimo], Warren Rollins, Gustave Baumann and Marsden Hartley 1919
After Tom Curtin’s early death in 1911, the two Leonoras returned to Pasadena but traveled frequently to New Mexico. As artists, writers, historians and anthropologists populated Santa Fe, the women of the family spent more and more time in the city as members of those communities.
This interest began about the time her daughter Leonora married Santa Fe attorney, Tom Curtin. The couple lived in Colorado Springs during their marriage. Their daughter Leonora was born in 1903. Tom Curtin worked to develop hotels, railroads and other comforts and infrastructure in the region.
Eva’s longtime friend Mary Austin had become interested in the preservation of crafts fabricated by the Spanish American artisans of New Mexico. Mrs. Fényes and the Curtins joined Austin and Frank Applegate as founding members of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society to preserve the craft techniques and historic objects. Eva had been collecting pieces of colcha since her earliest days in Santa Fe.
L to R [Mrs.] Leonora SM Curtin, Count Lattanzio Firmian, Maria and Julian Martinez, Eva Scott Fényes 1926
Eva also admired and supported the work of Native American artists such as Maria and Julian Martinez.
Mrs. Fényes bought property next to the Acequia Madre, the main irrigation ditch, and in 1925, the three women decided it was time to build a home in Santa Fe. They designed it themselves, work began with adobe bricks made on site, and the house was completed in 1926.