The Journal of San Diego History
Summer 1986, Volume 32, Number 3
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor

Painting Ladies ~ The Artists ~ The Images

b. Clyde, New York November 6, 1888
d. Petaluma, California October 31, 1947

At an early age, Frances accompanied her family to England, the homeland of her father. She was educated in Oxford where she received her first instruction in art, followed by studies at the Slade School in London under Sir Henry Tonks. Later she went to Ontario, Canada, the birthplace of her mother, where she studied at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, under George Agnew Reid and John William Beatty. In New York City, she continued her training at the Art Students’ League under Kenneth Hayes Miller and Dimitri Romanoffski. Frances travelled extensively in Europe, Canada and the United States. For two years she taught at the Ontario College of Art.

Frances and her husband, the photographer Lewis John Geddes, moved to California about 1923. After five years in Los Angeles, the couple moved to San Diego. In 1930, they set up their studio headquarters in the Casa de Machado in Old Town. She exhibited regularly in San Diego in the 1930s, and in 1934 won a Leisser-Farnham Memorial prize at the San Diego Art Guild for her portrait of Dr. Edward L. Hardy, president of the San Diego State College.

Finding she did not like machine-made frames on her paintings, Frances began to carve her own frames. This led to other experiments in the field of craftwork such as carved jewel boxes and their contents. At the California Pacific International Exposition in 1935, she exhibited a hand-wrought silver pendant and brooch. By the early 1940s, Frances was teaching a painting class at the Art Center in La Jolla. She died in Petaluma while returning from a trip to Canada. Her last residence was listed as Del Mar.

(Ref. SDET 4-8-39 A3:2-3)