Eva Scott Fényes—Matriarch, Artist, Preservationist & Businesswoman

Eva Scott Fényes (1849-1930) was born to a family with roots in America’s early history. The only child of wealthy New York publisher Leonard Scott, she was tutored by her father in business affairs. She became a successful investor in her own right acquiring securities and property in years when a woman was regarded as a novelty in financial circles. Her first husband, U.S. Marine Corps General W.S. Muse was the father of her daughter, Leonora, born in 1879. An accomplished artist, her studies took her to Egypt where she met her second husband, Hungarian nobleman, physician Dr. Adalbert Fényes. In 1896, the family settled in Pasadena, California.

Eva first spent time in New Mexico in the 1880s and was an early champion of Spanish Colonial and Native American art and history. In California, her home became a salon and meeting place for the burgeoning art colony in Pasadena. At the urging of visionary Los Angeles Times editor, Charles Lummis, she documented the fragile condition of the California missions in hundreds of paintings and photographs that form a lasting record of these historic sites and helped to spur their preservation. The family’s Pasadena home is now open as an historic house under the auspices of The Pasadena Museum of History.