Livia Stein was born in Dallas, Texas. She descends from Russian refugees fleeing the Pogroms in Eastern Europe at the turn of the last century. Her family came to California in 1950 during the post-war migration of people seeking the sunshine and varied opportunities of the West Coast. She was raised in and around Los Angeles and Orange County. She fled the harsh light and even harsher conservative politics of Orange County (then home to the John Birch Society, drive-in Mega-Churches, Knott’s Berry Farm & Disneyland) to attend University of at Berkeley. She studied History at UC Berkeley and pursued a master’s degree in South Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She spent several months in India as a student and has continued to travel there during the past 20 years. Influenced to do photography by her father, a talented amateur photographer, she studied at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. She began to shift her artistic focus away from Photography to Painting while working on a Master’s Degree. She received her Masters at San Francisco State University, Center for Interdisciplinary and Experimental Art, founded by Jock Reynolds, now the director of the Yale University Art Museum. She currently lives in Oakland where she maintains a studio. She is formerly a Professor of Art at Dominican University, San Rafael, California. She is married to the painter Michael Fram. They have one son, Theo Vincent Fram, whose love of toys, animals and machines, has greatly enriched and influenced her art over the years.
Her work has been exhibited in Europe, South America, India and throughout the United States.
She received an NDEA Fellowship while studying Indian History and Art at the University of Pennsylvania. More recently she was an Artist in Residence in Baroda, India. In 2007 she had a Residency at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, which included a Solo Exhibition of her Paintings. She was again in India for a Painting Residency just outside New Delhi, winter 2012. And in November of 2015 she was a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome.
Her work is in the Collection of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Oakland Museum of California, Dominican University, University of Iowa Art Museum to name a few.