An accomplished American painter who was well-regarded and praised within her own time, Grace Carpenter Hudson is most associated with the over 600 portraits she painted of members of the Pomo Indian tribe.
Hudson grew up in an artistic family, her father was a panorama and landscape photographer in California and her mother was a portrait photographer. Hudson showed early talent and by the age of fourteen was attending the San Francisco School of Design. By sixteen she had received her first accolades and awards for a self-portrait.
Like her parents, she enjoyed success as a commercial artist, working for national magazines and teaching in Ukiah, California.
She married John Wilz Napier Hudson, M.D. in 1890. Their mutual interest in Native American culture would lead to Grace's greatest success as an artist.
She began painting portraits of the local Native Americans and first exhibited a piece from the series in Minneapolis. The Chicago World's Fair awarded her an honorable mention for her painting "Little Mendocino" in 1893, a painting of a Pomo tribe infant.
Her work grew in popularity over the years, to the point that it led Grace Carpenter Hudson to adopt the practice of numbering each of her paintings to deter counterfeits.