Monday, April 14, 2014

Manuscript Monday--A San Francisco salon

E. L. Treat watercolor sketch, Bertha Stringer Lee guest book, Vault MS 41, California Historical Society.

This lovely watercolor sketch by the artist E. L. Treat is part of the California Historical Society’s recently cataloged Bertha Stringer Lee guest book. A native San Franciscan and student of William Keith, Lee was a California landscape painter who exhibited widely in the Bay Area. She was also a brilliant socialite, as her guest book, kept between the years 1912 and 1934, makes clear. Cards were dropped, and original sketches, poems, and songs contributed by, an astonishing array of celebrities, artists, writers, and musicians, including Winston Churchill, Arthur Cahill, Will Sparks, Charmian London, Theodore Wores, and William Keith. Lee’s guest book provides a remarkable view into the artistic milieu of San Francisco before the Second World War. 

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian
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