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

Painting Ladies ~ The Artists ~ The Images

b. Marble Rock, Iowa May 27, 1872
d. National City, California September 26, 1959

Miss Truax, daughter of Walter E. and Alice (Judd) Truax, received her initial education in Breckenridge, Minnesota. She served there as postmistress from 1893 to 1901 and decorated the baptistry window for the First Baptist Church. Eventually, her studies took her to Chicago where she studied at the Art Institute from 1906 to 1909 under John H. Vanderpoel and Ralph Clarkson. Other artists she studied with were Howard Pyle, Alphonse Mucha, who lectured there in 1906, and Joaquin Sorolla, who gave instruction in 1911. She also became a member of the Chicago Art Students’ League.

Moving to San Diego about 1912, Sarah set up a studio on Fairmount Avenue in East San Diego. At the Panama California International Exposition in 1916, she exhibited a group of miniatures and was awarded a silver medal in the Women’s Department and a bronze medal in the miniatures category. Miniatures were her specialty, and she often exhibited with the California Society of Miniature Painters in Los Angeles. In addition to miniatures, she also did landscape and still-life paintings.

One of the more active members of the San Diego Art Guild, Sarah served as secretary-treasurer from 1917 to 1937. The Art Guild sponsored several classes at the Fine Arts Gallery, and Sarah taught the life class from 1924 to 1928, and assisted Charles Reiffel with the landscape class from 1925 to 1929. In 1928, she was awarded an honorable mention at the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona. During the Depression years, Sarah went on the government payroll producing paintings for the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) beginning in 1934. She exhibited a miniature at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1933, a painting and two miniatures at the California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego in 1935, a miniature at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco in 1939, and exhibited frequently in Southern California until about 1940.

(Ref. AAA 1933; Moure; SDET 3-11-39 B1:4-5; WWAA 1936-37)