Santa Cruz County History - Libraries & Schools

Heath Painting at the Downtown Branch Library

Heath Painting
Heath Painting: "City of Santa Cruz"

This photograph in the Library's collection shows the "City of Santa Cruz" by Frank L. Heath hanging in the Reading Room of the Carnegie library in 1941. By that time, the Library had owned the painting for nearly fifty years.

The Santa Cruz Daily Surf reports on May 5, 1893 (p. 3) that:

"The picture of the City of Santa Cruz, painted by F.L. Heath for exhibition at the World's Fair was accepted by the jury of selection and shipped to Chicago, March 31st. On its return it will be the property of the Free Public Library."

The painting was paid for by public subscription. The Surf article continues with the names of the donors and the amounts that each gave. The cost of the painting, included $100 for the frame, was $450. On July 7, 1894, the Surf reported that the painting, "which has been on exhibition at the World and Midwinter Fairs has been again placed on exhibition in the Free Library." (p.4)

In 1904, the painting was again loaned out and displayed at the St. Louis Exhibition.

Frank L. Heath was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1857. During his childhood, he moved to Santa Cruz, California, with his family. After studying at the School of Design, he remained in San Francisco. Eleven years later, he returned to Santa Cruz and set up his studio on Beach Hill. He died in Santa Cruz on April 21,1921.

Today, August 2001, the "City of Santa Cruz," by Frank L. Heath hangs on the stairway landing near the second floor entrance to the Young People's room at the Downtown Branch.

Sources of Information:

  • Santa Cruz Daily Surf.
  • Hughes, Edan Milton. Artists in California, 1786--1940. 2nd edition. Hughes Publishing Co., 1989.
  • Library Staff.

RAP; 8/2001

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artists, libraries


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