Meyer Straus

Meyer Straus was born in Germany and came to America as a teen-ager, developing into an artist who painted the backdrops to theatrical productions. He followed this occupation after his move to San Francisco in 1875 but soon devoted all his time to easel paintings. Our painting depicts “Dupont Street,” whose name was changed to “Grant” after the death of Ulysses S. Grant. It captures the exotic nature of nineteenth-century Chinatown, with colorful lanterns in vivid orange tones, and a huge pennant that floats above the buildings. This painting is a rare record in color of how Chinatown looked in 1880s San Francisco.