Mary Herrick Ross (1856-1935)

We collect artwork by Mary Herrick Ross.


Mary Paxton Herrick was born in San Francisco on September 29, 1856. Her father was the artist and businessman William Frederick Herrick and her mother was Lucy Finnes (Kendall) Herrick. Mary Herrick was the first of seven children, many of whom also pursued careers in fine art. Her sister was the artist Margaret Cox Herrick. Mary Herrick showed a talent for art as a child and her father taught her to draw. William Herrick helped establish the San Francisco School of Design in 1873, and in 1874, Mary Herrick was the first student to enroll. As a student, she worked under the school’s first director, Virgil Williams, and the artist Raymond Dabb Yelland.

In 1876, Mary Herrick married Collin Ross. She began working under the name Mary Herrick Ross. The couple had two sons. From 1907 to 1909, Ross studied in Europe with two of her sisters, who were also artists. When she returned to San Francisco, the artwork she had made abroad was received favorably by the local press. The Ross family lived in San Francisco and had a second residence in Carmel. In 1914, the family moved to Piedmont across the bay. For the remainder of her life, Ross divided her time between her studios in Carmel and Piedmont.

Ross primarily painted still lifes, gardens, landscapes, and seascapes. She created a vast number of artworks in her life, although much of her work remains undocumented.