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

Painting Ladies ~ The Artists ~ The Images

b. Denison, Iowa April 28, 1870
d. La Jolla, California August 8, 1945

Martha began her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago under John Vanderpoel. Later, she developed an interest in miniatures, and went to Paris to study with Hortense Richard and Debillemont-Chardan. While in France, she exhibited in Paris and Limoges. She also exhibited at the Panama California International Exposition in 1916. For seven years, Martha had a studio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was acclaimed to be one of the first women artists of that country.

Flowers by Martha Miles Jones Moving to San Diego about 1922, Martha began to exhibit in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas. She had memberships in the San Diego Art Guild, La Jolla Art Association, Laguna Beach Art Association, California Art Club, Women Painters of the West, and the California Society of Miniature Painters which organization she served as president for two years. Her specialties were portrait miniatures and flower paintings.

In 1926, Martha spent two months with a friend in Mexico City doing portrait miniatures, some of which were left incomplete due to the Mexican revolution. Her miniatures were exhibited at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1934 and also at the California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego in 1935. After a brief absence from San Diego, she moved to La Jolla in the early 1930s. With Mrs. G.W. Fisher, Martha organized the Los Surenos Art Center in 1934. Also at this time, she began making watercolor renderings of flowering bulbs for the W.P.A. Curriculum Project. Unfortunately, these were later destroyed in a fire at the San Diego Education Center. She continued to exhibit locally into the early 1940s.

(Ref. AAA 1927, 1933; Mallory; Moure; SDS 4-14-34 5:3-6; SDU 8-9-45 A7:5; WWAA 1936-37)