Born in Vienna, Austria of wealthy American parents on April 24, 1887. Crippled at birth, one of Rowena's legs was shorter than the other. During the 1890s she came to San Francisco and as a teenager began art instruction at the Mark Hopkins Institute under Arthur Mathews. In 1910 she married writer Harry B. Abdy and bought a home in Monterey where she further studied with Armin Hansen. From there she built a mission-style home in San Juan Bautista. In 1917 Mrs. Abdy moved to San Diego and by 1926 had returned to San Francisco to a home on crooked Lombard Street where she remained. Traveling about California in her large car which she had converted into a studio, she could sketch in comfort and privacy. After 1929 her work became mor
Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"American Art Annual
1919-33; Who's Who in California
1928; Who's Who in American Art
1936-41; California Art Research,
20 volumes; Artists of the American West
(Samuels); Oakland Tribune, 8-19-1945 (obituary).Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here
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