Lucretia Van Horn Biography

Lucretia Le Bourgeios was born in 1882 on a Louisiana plantation.  Her parents enrolled her in private schools, but they died when she was only 14.  She went to live with her relatives, Martha Blow and Herbert Wadsworth in New York and Washington DC.  The Wadsworths enabled her to continue with her private education and also introduced her to artists working in the city.  By 1897, she had enrolled in the Art Student's League where she studied with John Twachtman and George Bridgeman.  In 1902, Lucretia went to Paris to paint at the Academie Julian and by 1904 she was the first woman to receive the Concours Julian Smith.

Lucretia Le Bourgeois met her future husband, Robert Van Horn in 1907, and they were married in 1908.  Robert Van Horn was a military man, assistant to Teddy Roosevelt, and they lived a peripatetic life moving from one military base to another for several years.  By 1916, they had two children and Lucretia stayed east while her husband continued to work in Texas and then France during World War I.  

After the war, the family settled in San Antonio where Lucretia helped with the founding and functions of the conservation society, which was concerned with preservation of the city's river and the Spanish Heritage.

From 1922-27, while living in the Southwest, Lucretia traveled in Mexico.  During her travels in Mexico, she spent a significant amount of time with Mexican Muralist, Diego Rivera and even assisted him in the creation of some of his murals.  Lucretia's image appears in a Rivera Mural in a government building in Mexico City.  The Van Horns acquired several of Diego Rivera's paintings during these years.  Diego's influence in her illustrative output is clear, and along with the surviving works is a drawing entitled "The Lovers", in which Diego is the male sitter.  

In 1927, the Van Horns moved to California and took up residence in Berkeley.  Lucretia continued with her career as an artist and participated in Bay Area art events.  She was on the Board of the Oakland Art League and between '28 and '32, she exhibited in the Bay Area and in New York.  An abbreviated exhibition record appears below.  

This collection of works on paper was left in the artist's estate and was exhibited at The Art Exchange Gallery in San Francisco.  For more information on the artist, please see: The Jeri Waxenburg Collection, Women Artists in the Modernist Tradition


Exh: EastWest Gallery (SF), 1928; Oakland Art Gallery, 1928-33; UC Berkeley Museum, 1930; SF Art Association Shows, 1930-46. The Argus, Sept. 1928; SF Chronicle, 1-5-1930; CA&A; Art Digest, 515-1932; DR.