Maverick, Lucy Madison (1883–1967)

By: Anne Leslie Fenstermaker

Type: Biography

Published: April 1, 1995

Updated: November 30, 2019

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.

Visit the Texas Women Project's standalone website

The Handbook of Texas Women project has its own dedicated website and resources.

Visit Website

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.

  • Archeology
  • Amateur Archeologists
  • Visual Arts
  • Painting
  • Women
  • Preservationists

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anne Leslie Fenstermaker, “Maverick, Lucy Madison,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 07, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995
November 30, 2019

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: