If you haven’t yet had a chance to view the exhibit in the archival display case on the 2nd floor, I urge you to make some time to take a look at it!
Nellie Burrell Scott was an early California still life artist who exhibited at the Mechanics’ Institute’s Industrial Exposition in 1893. She was most well-known for her paintings of the California Golden Trout, and images of other fish, although her still life paintings also included flora and fauna.
The most fascinating aspect of this collection is that it was discovered by a current Mechanics’ Institute member, Joan Boyd, in the attic of the San Francisco house that she resides in. Joan recognized the value of her discovery and offered the entire collection to MI. Once it was confirmed that Nellie had been an exhibitor at our 19th century Industrial Expositions, we were thrilled to accept her gift!
Although time and adverse storage conditions (prior to the collection’s unearthing) have contributed to the darkening of the paint/images and fragility of the items, most of the collection has survived the years with minimal damage.
The Nellie Burrell Scott collection will be on exhibit until the end of the year.