English visual artist Eleanor Mason, a cousin of the British writer E. A. W. Mason, was born in the U.K. in about 1895 and studied art in France, Germany and Italy. Eleanor, variously known as Eleanore, Leonore, Evylin or Evelyn, lived for several months in Ajijic with her second husband, the German cellist Alex von Mauch.
Prior to this marriage, Mason had lived in Pasadena, California, from 1917 to 1931, where she ran an art school for a time. She was a co-founder of the Laguna Beach Art Association in 1918 and belonged to the Pasadena Society of Women Painters & Sculptors, serving as its president in 1928. Her work was exhibited at the Laguna Beach Art Association (1921, 1924), West Coast Arts, Incorporated (1923), the Pasadena Women Painters & Sculptors (1928) and the Santa Cruz Art League (1929). She was also a member of the British Water Color Society.
After marrying Alex von Mauch in 1935, the couple settled in Ajijic. Unfortunately, Alex died later that year. Eleanor then seems to have divided her time between Pasadena and Mexico. In January 1937, for example, her participation in the Pasadena New Year’s Day parade was noted in the Los Angeles Times because she was dressed as a giant butterfly, alongside a giant 20-foot rose, on the “Roses of Romance” float.
Romance must certainly have been in the air that year (1937) since a few months later Eleanor was in Guadalajara to marry Leif Clausen, a Danish-born and educated artist and writer based in New York. After this marriage to Clausen, Eleanor’s trail goes cold and nothing further has yet come to light about her life and legacy.
- If you have any works, or photos of works, by this artist, please share!
- Edan Hughes. 1989. Artists in California, 1786-1940. Hughes Pub. Co.
- El Informador, 3 May 1936, 4; 8 May 1936, 4.
- Los Angeles Times, 25 Dec 1921, 36; 31 July 1935, 30; 26 Sep 1937, 66.
- Santa Ana Register, 10 Mar 1923, 14; 12 January 1924, 5.
Comments, corrections or additional material related to any of the writers and artists featured in our series of mini-bios are welcomed. Please use the comments feature at the bottom of individual posts, or email us.
Tony Burton’s books include “Lake Chapala: A Postcard History” (2022), “Foreign Footprints in Ajijic” (2022), “If Walls Could Talk: Chapala’s historic buildings and their former occupants” (2020), (available in translation as “Si Las Paredes Hablaran”), “Mexican Kaleidoscope” (2016), and “Lake Chapala Through the Ages” (2008).