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Three Wise Women-Eva Scott Fényes, Leonora Scott Muse Curtin, and Leonora Frances Curtin Paloheimo
1849–1930, 1879–1972, 1903–1999
County : Santa Fe
Category : Arts
Three Wise Women-Eva Scott Fényes, Leonora Scott Muse Curtin, and Leonora Frances Curtin Paloheimo
Three Wise Women-Eva Scott Fényes, Leonora Scott Muse Curtin, and Leonora Frances Curtin Paloheimo
Three Wise Women-Eva Scott Fényes, Leonora Scott Muse Curtin, and Leonora Frances Curtin Paloheimo
1849–1930, 1879–1972, 1903–1999
County : Santa Fe
Category : Arts

Eva Scott Fényes

(1849-1930)

Eva Fényes was born to a family with roots in America’s early history. The only child of wealthy New York publisher Leonard Scott, she was tutored by her father in business affairs. She became a successful investor in her own right, acquiring securities and property in years when a woman was regarded as a novelty in financial circles. Her first husband, U.S. Marine General W.S. Muse was the father of her daughter, Leonora, born in 1879. An accomplished artist, Eva’s studies took her to Egypt where she met her second husband, Hungarian nobleman, physician Dr. Adalbert Fényes. In 1896, the family settled in Pasadena, California.

 

Eva first lived in New Mexico in the 1880s and was an early champion of Spanish Colonial and Native American art and history. In California, her home became a salon and meeting place for the burgeoning art colony in Pasadena. At the urging of Los Angeles Times editor, Charles Lummis, she documented the fragile condition of the California missions in hundreds of paintings and photographs that form a lasting record of these historic sites. The family home now houses The Pasadena Museum of History.

 

Leonora Scott Muse Curtin

(1879-1972)

Leonora Curtin first came to Santa Fe with her mother, Eva, as a small child. She had a lifelong interest in the art and archaeology of Spanish and Native American New Mexico. She met her husband, Thomas E. Curtin, in Santa Fe where he was a lawyer in the District Attorney’s office. After their marriage, they lived in Colorado Springs where he developed railroads and resorts. He died when their daughter Leonora was eight years old, and the two Leonoras went to live in Pasadena. Mother, daughter, and grandmother traveled together around the world.

 

Founding members of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society, the two Leonoras especially loved New Mexico. Together they purchased the property in La Cienega that later became the living history museum, El Rancho de las Golondrinas. Mrs. Curtin collected information about the varieties and uses of local herbs and plants by both the Native American and Spanish American cultures interviewing local friends, curanderas, and native healers. This research resulted in two highly readable and respected books, By the Prophet of the Earth and Healing Herbs of the Upper Rio Grande.

 

 

Leonora Frances Curtin Paloheimo

(1903-1999)

Leonora Paloheimo grew up in a world filled with the exuberance of art, history, archaeology and the pursuit of knowledge. She spoke several languages before she started school and continued to learn many more during her lifetime. Her accomplishments in writing, poetry, art and archaeology gave her access to every part of Santa Fe’s cultural life. She did research work for the Smithsonian Institution in the field of Native American languages in New Mexico and Washington, D.C. with John P. Harrington. Her desire to provide an outlet for local Spanish American craftsman prompted her creation of The Native Market, a place for artisans to sell their traditional folk art and furniture during the difficult times of the 1930s.

 

After World War II, she met and married Finnish Consul, Y.A. Paloheimo. Together they founded international cultural organizations and museums. The family home in Pasadena served as the Finnish Consulate and was an active center of social and diplomatic events. The family property in La Cienega, New Mexico was restored to become the living history museum, El Rancho de las Golondrinas.

Sources:

Art of the Gold Rush. Janice T. Driesbach, Harvey L. Jones, Katherine Church Holland. University of California Press, 1998.

 

By The Prophet of the Earth: Ethno-botany of the Pima. Leonora S.M. Curtin. Tucson. The University of Arizona Press. A Complete Online Version of the Original Printed Book.

 

El Rancho de las Golondrinas. Carmella Padilla, Photography by Jack Parsons, Foreword by Marc Simmons. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 2009.

 

Healing Herbs of the Upper Rio Grande. Leonora S.M. Curtin. Santa Fe: Laboratory of Anthropology, 1947 revised edition by Michael Moore, 1997.

 

Houses of Los Angeles, 1885-1919 Volume I . Sam Watters. New York: Acanthus Press, 2007.

 

Indians of the Rio Grande Valley, Adoph Bandelier and Edgar Hewitt, Illustrations by Eva Scott Fenyes. Albuquerque:The University of New Mexico, 1937.

 

Masters of Light: Plein-Air Painting in California 1890-1930. William H. Gerdts. The Irvine Museum, 2002.

 

The Native Market of the Spanish New Mexican Craftsman: Santa Fe 1933-1940. Sara Nestor. Santa Fe: Colonial New Mexico Historical Foundation, 1979.

 

New Mexico Colcha Club: Spanish Colonial Embroidery & The Women Who Saved It. Nancy Benson. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 2008.

 

New Mexican Furniture 1600-1940: The Origins, Survival and Revival of Furniture Making in the Hispanic Southwest. Lonn Taylor and Dessa Bokides. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1987.

 

New Mexican Tinwork, 1840-1940. Lane Coulter and Maurice Dixon, Jr. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1990. 

 

Rio Grande Textiles: A New Edition of Spanish Textile Tradition of New Mexico and Colorado. Compiled and Edited by Nora Fisher. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1994.

 

Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Art, Collections A-Z, Eva Fenyes scrapbook on Santa Fe Art Colony artists 1870-1921.

 

Spanish New Mexico: The Spanish Colonial Arts Society Collection. Edited by Donna Pierce and Marta Weigle. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1996.

 

Thirty-Two Adobe Houses of Old California. Eva Scott Fenyes and Isabel Lopez de Fages. Los Angeles: Southwest Museum, 1950.

 

www.autry-museum.org collections on-line Keyword Fenyes

 

www.golondrinas.org El Rancho de Las Golondrinas, Santa Fe, New Mexico

 

www.pasadenahistory.org The Pasadena Museum of History, Pasadena, California

 

www.santafebotanicalgarden.org Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Santa Fe, New Mexico