Oil on canvas, 16" by 20", unframed, the subject a cut watermelon, peaches, grapes, a pear and strawberries, signed at lower right "Mabel Lemos" and dated there 1948. This appears to me to be a work by the noted long-time citizen of Santa Cruz, MABEL LEMOS, the wife of painter William Lemos and mother of artist Sydney Lemos. I saw apparently because the painting is signed with what looks like Mabel "Lemus" and it is clearly dated 1948, yet the Hughes biography and online information shows her date of death from cancer as 1921. The work most definitely resembles her known works, including the examples shown on askart, and as further authentication, on the reverse is written in old hand "Price 85.00/Painted by Mabel Lemos" and also "(XX) Pearl Street Santa Cruz" (which online information shows to have been her address when she and William lived in Santa Cruz). So there's a slight mystery here (research, anyone?) but I offer the work as California art by Mabel Lemos. A possible clue is at left where it appears one of the grape leaves is not finished. I propose that perhaps her son or someone else finished or somehow worked on the painting after her death and dated it 1948. Mabel Lemos was born in Illinois and spent most of her life in California, first in Los Angeles and San Francisco, before settling in Santa Cruz, where she and her husband became important members of the community. They also maintained a studio at 7th and Market Streets in San Francisco, where their works were sold. From an early account, found online: " Santa Cruz News July 1, 1921, 7:4 Death Summons Mrs. Mabel Lemos The death of Mrs. Mabel Lemos, wife of Wm. Lemos, the well known artist which occurred yesterday after an extended illness, marks the passing of another good women, and one ever faithful to the true duties of life. All during her illness Mrs. Lemos has been a patient sufferer and was accorded every attention by her help mate in life, as well as her only son Sidney Lemos. Mrs. Lemos has produced many pictures of art and the Lemos paintings can be found in many homes in California. Besides their own private studio. Mr. and Mrs. Lemos have conducted a studio at the beach for some seasons past, and the display section was always a contributing feature of the lower floor of the main building. The only son, inheriting the talents of his parents, is now an artist of recognized ability. Mrs. Lemos was one of those truly good women that will be missed from the community, in which her line of calling has done so much to advance in civic betterment. Mrs. Lemos while a native of Illinois has resided in California for many years and her interests were for Santa Cruz , first, last, and always". CONDITION: There is paint loss, especially in the pear and the red of the watermelon, and it appears that the dark field area at upper right has been overpainted. So this could use some restoration. See the net for more on the artist. .
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