Impressionist oil on canvas painting of ships in a harbor, titled on stretcher "San Francisco Bay in 1840", signed at lower right "M. McDOWD" (MARGARET EPENETER McDOWD 1894-1990). The work, 24" by 30", unframed, is masterfully painted. with excellent handling of light and color, all somewhat intentionally hazy and muted. The steam engine at left seems to cast some doubt on the "1840" date portrayed; a later date, even to about 1920, would be accurate, given the type of ships and the appearance of the figures and how they are dressed. The painting itself is not all that old; I would estimate circa 1970's or even early 1980's, at which point the artist would have been in her late 80's. The canvas is stapled to the stretcher, not nailed, and overall appearance of stretcher and canvas supports this date of execution. There is no varnish, and some soiling and light abrasions are present, as well as a nail hole at lower right corner and another small dig at extreme right, and vertical stretcher bar shows in center. So a little restoration is in order, but the painting is essentially sound. Framed and cleaned up, it will look top notch. There is little information available on the artist. She was born in Colorado and was in Beverly Hills by 1930. Some online research shows that her paintings were exhibited in Pasadena in 1966 along with those of another female artist.
MARGARET EPENETER McDOWD (1894-1990) California art "San Francisco Bay in 1840" by listed woman artist