Rose Chin (R.C.) Wong, a property developer and owner of several East Austin grocery stores, became a prolific artist after a successful career in the businesses she managed with her husband. Born in 1915 in Massachusetts to Chinese parents Mow Wah and Lee Shee Chin, she married Fred Wong in San Antonio in 1936. The couple moved to Austin in the late 1930s. Though she made sketches of her three children throughout raising them, R.C. attended her first formal art lesson at the age of 42 at the University of Texas. She quickly became well known for her portraits, especially of friends’ and clients’ children. She produced a prolific body of work by painting and sketching in many mediums including oil, pastels, and watercolors. Her art possesses a strong sense of naturalism that is derived from observing her subjects in person, focusing on nature, and drawing from day to day experiences. As a result, viewers are able to easily relate to the pictures she made and get a sense of Wong’s personal history. Many of her works are admired and enjoyed in the collections of her family and community.
Rose Chin Wong, Mitchel Wong