Related Archival Materials note
Scope and contents
Title: Eva Scott Fenyes Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MS.206
Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
Language of Material:
1.5 Linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1904-1951
Eva Scott Fenyes (1849-1930) was an artist who spent more than thirty years traveling from San Diego to Sonoma, California
to preserve the history and aesthetic beauty of her surroundings through her artwork. She moved to Pasadena, California circa
1896 where assisted with the founding of the Pasadena Emergency League in 1910 and the Pasadena Music and Art Association
in 1912. She was also an active member of the Landmarks Club of California and the Southwest Society. This collection consists
of Eva Scott Fenyes correspondence as well newspaper articles she collected. The material spans from 1904-1928.
Fenyes, Eva Scott, d. 1930
Picher, Annie Belle
Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application
or contact library staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inventory and initial processing by library staff. Biographical note taken from exhibit curated and written by Autry Curator,
Kim Walters, 2011. Finding aid completed by Anna Liza Posas, 2013. Final processing of collection and publication of finding
aid made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
Eva Scott Fenyes (1849-1930)
Eva was born on 1849 November 9 and was the daughter of Leonard Scott, New York publisher, and Rebecca Briggs Scott. Eva was
educated at Pelham Priory in Pelham Manor, New York, and then studied art in New York, Europe, and Egypt. In 1877, she also
spent time in Fort Marion, Florida, where she asked Henry Pratt to have the artists Howling Wolf (Cheyenne) and Zo Tom (Kiowa)
create ledger books for her. This early affiliation with Native American artists and her support for their work continued
throughout her life.
In 1878, Eva married Lieutenant William S. Muse, who later became a brigadier general. Their only child, Leonora, was born
in 1879. After spending several years as an army wife, Eva began to spend time traveling, painting, and living in Santa Fe,
New Mexico. In 1891, she divorced Muse and traveled extensively in Europe, Egypt, and other Middle Eastern countries. During
these travels she met Dr. Adelbert Fenyes, who was a Hungarian nobleman, a doctor of nervous diseases, and an entomologist.
They were married in Budapest in 1896 and settled soon thereafter in Pasadena, where Mrs. Fenyes continued to paint.
Although Mrs. Fenyes painted constantly, she did not exhibit her work or consider herself a “professional artist.” She painted
a variety of subjects and was also interested in music, archaeology, philanthropy, and history. She assisted with the founding
of the Pasadena Emergency League in 1910 and the Pasadena Music and Art Association in 1912. She was an active member of the
Landmarks Club of California and the Southwest Society. She also later served on the board of trustees of the Southwest Museum.
Her daughter, Leonora Curtin, and her granddaughter, Leonora Curtin Paloheimo, continued to serve on the board through the
Eva was instrumental in the creation of art and literary salons that brought together a wide variety of local artists, writers,
and other intellectuals who met in her home in Pasadena. Among the participants in these salons were such well-known California
painters as William Keith and Benjamin Brown, who described her as “too accomplished in many phases of art to become proficient
By the 1890s, Eva was friends with Charles Lummis. In a 1904 letter, Mrs. Fenyes asked Lummis his opinion about documenting
the historic adobes, which she had started in 1898. Lummis responsed in a letter, “It seems to me it would be a very valuable
thing if you could carry out your plan to make accurate watercolor studies of the old buildings in this region. Accuracy is
the first requirement; and such a series would have serious historical value. I hope you may be able to realize this plan—
and I am inclined to think that if you can undertake it in just the right way, you will find it better for your health than
all the doctors. . . .” They continued their friendly contact throughout their lives.
Eva spent more than thirty years traveling from San Diego to Sonoma to preserve the history and aesthetic beauty of her surroundings.
She died on 1930 February 3.
Source: "Capturing California’s Romantic Past: The Watercolor Works of Eva Scott Fenyes," Autry National Center online exhibit,
2011. Curated by Kim Walters, Ahmanson Curator of Native Culture at the Autry.
Related Archival Materials note
Watercolors of Eva Scott Fenyes, Braun Research Library Collections; Autry National Center.
Curtin Family Collection, 1922-1981, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.648.
Fenyes-Curtin-Paloheimo Papers, 1745–1970, Pasadena Historical Museum.
Scope and contents
This collection consists of Eva Scott Fenyes correspondence as well newspaper articles she collected. The material spans from
1904-1928. Except for one folder of loose newspaper articles, most of the articles have been assembled by Fenyes into a multivolume
set of scrapbooks.
The news articles relate to Los Angeles history and society, early California families, California missions and adobes, and
Native American arts and culture. Clippings also relate to the Southwest Museum, the building of the Casa de Adobe, and Charles
This collection also includes one portfolio of correspondence with letters from Hector Alliot, J.P. Gaylord, J.M. Guinn, Theo
Hittell, Frederick Webb Hodge, George P. Ide, L.H. Ingersoll, and Charles Fletcher Lummis written from 1904-1916.
One folder consists of material added by the Southwest Museum staff after 1934 and are not original items from the personal
collections of Eva Scott Fenyes. This folder includes listings, booklets, documents, and clippings from 1901-1951 and primarily
is about the Fenyes paintings held at the Southwest Museum.
Eva Scott Fenyes Collection, 1904-1951, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.206.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts
must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center
as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must
also be obtained by the reader.
This collection primarily consists of correspondence belonging to Eva Scott Fenyes and scrapbooks assembled by Fenyes. The
Eva Scott Fenyes Collection was given as a gift from the daughter of Fenyes, Mrs. Leonora (Thomas) E. Curtain, 1934 April
3. There is one folder that consists of material added by the Southwest Museum staff after 1934 that are not originally from
the personal collections of Eva Scott Fenyes.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Alliot, Hector, 1862-1919
Gaylord, J. P.
Guinn, J. M. (James Miller), 1834-1918
Hittell, Theodore Henry, 1830-1917
Hodge, Frederick Webb, 1864-1956
Ide, George P.
Ingersoll, L. H.
Lummis, Charles Fletcher, 1859-1928.
Southwest Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Adobe houses -- California
California -- History
Casa de Adobe (Southwest Museum, Los Angeles, Calif.)
Historic buildings -- California
Legends del Camino Real: San Gabriel Mission Bells
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History
Missions -- California
Pasadena (Calif.) -- History
Santa Barbara Mission
Warner's Ranch (Calif.)