Frances Mathews was the former Nora Frances Harris, a native of Leitchfield, Kentucky. She came to Louisville as a young woman and pursued her art studies with local artists and at the University of Louisville. Mathews' career blossomed in the 1960s and '70s. She worked in oil, watercolor, collage and ceramics and was a respected teacher, operating out of her Frances Mathews Arts and Plants shop on Bardstown Road. She is listed in Kentucky Women Artists 1850 to 2000.