Meyer Straus was a member of the Bohemian Club, and the San Francisco Art Association. His work was exhibited widely, and his works are held by the California Historical Society, the Nevada Museum, and the Oakland Museum.
As a 17 year old, he left his native Bavaria and landed in the United States in 1848. After five years living in Ohio, he moved to St. Louis and worked as a painter at the old Pine Street Theater. From St. Louis, he moved south, living for a time in Mobile and New Orleans. At age 41, he moved to Chicago in 1872 and worked as a scenery painter at Hooley's Theater. Three years later, for health reasons, he left the winters of the midwest and moved to San Francisco.
He plied his established trade breifly, painting scenery at the Bush Street Theater and the Grand Opera House. In 1876 though, he dedicated himself to easel painting. He opened a Montgomery Street studio, and made sketching trips into Yosemite, Marin County, the Monterey Penninsula, and up to Oregon. He published some of these scenes as magazine illustrations. His paintings include still lifes, California missions, figure studies and landscapes of Northern California. He died in San Francisco in 1905.
Source: Artists in California 1786 - 1940, Edan Milton Hughes, 3d ed.