Biographical Sketch of Lucy Madison Maverick

Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists, 1913-1920

Biography of Lucy Madison Maverick, 1883-1967

By Anne Leslie Fenstermaker

This entry has been republished with special permission from the Handbook of Texas Women, a project of the Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association. Accessed October 30, 2018.

MAVERICK, LUCY MADISON (1883–1967). Lucy Madison Maverick, artist and conservationist, the daughter of George Madison and Mary Elizabeth (Vance) Maverick, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on January 5, 1883. She was the fourth of six children, including Mary Rowena Green. She graduated from Main Avenue High School, San Antonio, attended Smith College, and studied creative writing, and about 1910 attended the Chicago Academy of Art to study illustration. In 1914 she studied and painted in Provincetown, Massachusetts, with a group of artists including Charles W. Hawthorn, Bord Norfeldt, Arthur W. Dow, and sculptor William Zorach. About this time she also taught at Stelton School, Stelton, New Jersey. In the early 1920s she traveled a great deal in Mexico, where she knew Diego Rivera and other Mexican muralists. She became an expert collector of Mexican arts and crafts and participated in early archeological excavations in northern Guatemala and Mexico. This was the foundation of her interest in pre-Columbian art and archeology. During the 1920s she won first prize in a batik contest sponsored by the Chicago Art Institute. In the 1930s she designed and supervised the construction of modern furniture, some of which was placed in the Majestic Building offices in San Antonio. Maverick's work included oil paintings, watercolors, block prints, large pencil drawings, oil-base crayon drawings, and sculpture. Her subjects include introspective views of her home, garden, and travels, with unusual angles of perspective. Her work done during her seventies and eighties evolved to oil-base crayon drawings based on pre-Columbian masks, animals, and figures, done in strong, pure color. In addition to her own work she supported and encouraged such younger artists as Octavio Medellin. Maverick exhibited in many art shows and in her later years had several solo shows in San Antonio.

She demonstrated for woman suffrage in Washington, D.C., with her sisters. She also restored a beautiful old stone house on Belvin Street in San Antonio, which served for the first meeting of the San Antonio Conservation Society in 1924. The house was later razed for an expressway, but she moved it stone by stone to Castroville, Texas. She was instrumental in saving and restoring 511 Villita Street, San Antonio, which became the headquarters of the San Antonio Conservation Society. With her sisters, she preserved the Maverick Ranch, in Boerne. She was a member of the board of directors of the Yanaguana Society and of several art groups in San Antonio. She was baptized in the Episcopal Church. She was a Democrat. She traveled throughout Europe and Mexico and lived at different times in Provincetown, Massachusetts, New York City, Castroville, and San Antonio. She died in San Antonio on July 16, 1967.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Frederick Charles Chabot, With the Makers of San Antonio (Yanaguana Society Publications 4, San Antonio, 1937). San Antonio Express, March 19, 1950. San Antonio Express Magazine, December 23, 1951. San Antonio Express News, February 9, 1949.

Addition to Handbook of Texas Women Sketch:

There is only one record of Lucy Maverick’s national involvement in the suffrage movement. Lucy Maverick joined members of Alice Paul’s National Woman’s Party (NWP) in a March 4, 1919 demonstration in front of New York City’s Metropolitan Opera House. Their intent was to protest President Wilson’s inaction on the suffrage amendment while Wilson was speaking inside the theater. They planned to burn Wilson’s speech. Lucy Maverick carried the NWP banner of purple, gold, and white and, with the five other banner-bearers, was quickly arrested before any burning could begin. The suffragists were charged with disorderly conduct but released within the hour.

Source: Inez Haynes Irwin, The Story of Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party. New York: Dellinger's Publishers, Ltd., 1977, 424-425.

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