CLARA PANCOAST (1872-1959)
Clara Caffery Pancoast was a landscape, still life, and street scene painter, whose most sought after work were depictions of historic buildings around San Antonio and nearby missions and ruins of the Alamo. Although she was a prolific artist, completing over 500 oils, etchings and watercolors, she was a full-time journalist in the 1920s while she was raising a family.
Pancoast was born in Louisiana and grew up on a plantation. Her basic education was from the Home Institute in New Orleans, where she also received art training. About 1888, she moved to San Antonio, and there married William Test Pancoast in 1891.
While raising two daughters, she became a professional newspaper journalist, serving as editor of the San Antonio Express from 1916 to 1926 and editor of the San Antonio Light from 1927 to 1937. She became the first president of the San Antonio Business and Professional Women's Club and was active in many art groups including the Palette and Chisel Club and San Antonio Art League.
While working at her journalism career, she was a 'weekend' painter. She studied art from José Arpa and Wilson K. Nixon and also spent time in Alpine in the art colony and for one year taught at the Sul Ross Summer School of Art in Alpine. She also sketched in Mexico and West Texas, and painted many scenes along the San Antonio River.
Exhibition venues included the Texas Fine Arts Association, Texas Artists' Exhibition, Edgar B. Davis Competition and Southern States Art League.