Suzanne Scheuer

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Suzanne Scheuer
BornFebruary 11, 1898
DiedDecember 20, 1984 (1984-12-21) (aged 86)
Alma materCalifornia College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco Art Institute
Known forNew Deal-era murals, sculpture, lithographs, pencil sketches
Notable work
Coit Tower mural Newsgathering, United States Post Office (Berkeley, California) mural Incidents in California History
MovementSocial realism

Suzanne Scheuer (born in San Jose, California on February 11, 1898 – died in Santa Cruz, California on December 20, 1984) was an American fine artist best known for her New Deal-era murals.


Suzanne Scheuer was born in San Jose, California on February 11, 1898. She moved to San Francisco, California in 1918.

Scheuer studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts as a fine arts major, and later went back and got a teacher's credential.[1] Around ten years later she went back to school to study mural painting with Ray Boynton at California School of Fine Arts (now called the San Francisco Art Institute).[1]

Scheuer taught art for three years in Los Banos and Salinas public schools.[2] She then toured Europe extensively, where she gained an appreciation for murals.

Pencil Sketches[edit]

Illustration from a series of pencil sketches Scheuer created at the San Francisco Chinatown Playground

Scheuer created a number of pencil sketches of children playing at the playground in San Francisco's Chinatown. Many of those sketches are among the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco - Legion of Honor Museum.[2]


Newsgathering mural in Coit Tower
Incidents in California History mural at the United States Post Office, Berkeley (detail)

In 1933 Scheuer was chosen by Ralph Stackpole to be one of the Coit Tower muralists. Given a choice of California trade and commerce to portray, she selected the theme of "industry", given a family connection to the petroleum industry. She lost out to John Langley Howard for "industry", and accepted the Coit Tower mural theme of "newspapers". The mural was later named Newsgathering. She prepared by sketching the editorial, typesetting, and printing operations at the San Francisco Chronicle. Her assistant on the Coit Tower mural was noted artist Hebe Daum, who would later marry Stackpole.[3]

Berkeley Post Office elevator mural

In 1937 she received a commission from the U.S. Treasury Department's Section of Fine Arts to paint the mural titled Incidents in California History in the Berkeley post office. She also received commissions in 1938 to paint two other post office murals: Indians Moving in Caldwell, Texas and Buffalo Hunt in Eastland, Texas. The Caldwell mural was moved to the Burleson County Courthouse,[4] and mural studies for the Caldwell and Eastland murals are now part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.[1][5][6]

Later life[edit]

In 1940 Scheuer began teaching part-time at the College of the Pacific in Stockton, California while continuing to paint and sculpt. While living there she served as President of the Stockton Art League from 1944-1945. She then moved to Santa Cruz, California, where her extended family had settled. She designed and built six houses there, doing much of the physical and artistic work herself. All six houses were still standing as of 2013. She continued to paint and sculpt. Scheuer died in Santa Cruz on December 20, 1984.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Oral history interview with Suzanne Scheuer, 1964 July 29". Archives of American Art. Smithsonian Institution. July 29, 1964. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Suzanne Scheuer". Fine Art Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF). Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  3. ^ Veronico, Nick. Depression-Era Murals of the Bay Area. 2014. (p.15 and following) Google Books
  4. ^ "Indians Moving, Caldwell Texas Post Office Mural by Suzanne Scheuer, 1939". Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  5. ^ "SF Mural Arts - Suzanne Scheuer - Page 1". Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Artworks Search Results / American Art". Archived from the original on 10 May 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2015.

External links[edit]